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On the utility representation of asymmetric single-peaked preferences*

Francisco Martínez-Mora and M. Socorro Puy ()

No 11/18, Discussion Papers in Economics from Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester

Abstract: We introduce two natural types of asymmetric single-peaked preferences, which we name biased-above and biased-below, depending on whether the asymmetry (or preference-bias) favors alternatives above or below the peak. We a rich family of utility functions, the generalized distance-metric utility functions, that can represent preferences biased-above or biased-below, besides accommodating any degree of asymmetry. We also identify restrictions on differentiable utility representations that guarantee the underlying preferences to be biased-above or below, and allow to compare degrees of asymmetry. Finally, we consider a specific application -agents preferences over government size- to illustrate the role of factors such as risk aversion and tax distortions in shaping asymmetric preferences.

Keywords: Single-peaked preferences; asymmetric preferences; quadratic preferences; risk aversion; prudence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H31 H5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-01, Revised 2011-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-upt
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Working Paper: On the Utility Representation of Asymmetric Single-Peaked Preferences (2011) Downloads
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