Stochastic Dominance and Uncertain Price Prospects

E. Kwan Choi, Stanley R. Johnson
September 1988  [88-WP 31]

This paper develops rules for ordering uncertain price prospects. For consumers with identical ordinal preferences, we propose stochastic dominance rules based on equivalent variation (EV). The second-degree stochastic dominance (SSD) rule on the induced distributions of EV yields a unanimous ranking among income risk averters. The SSD rule on consumer surplus or compensating variation provides a valid ranking for income risk averters if the income elasticity of demand is zero. Risk averse consumers with different ordinal preferences cannot have a unanimous ranking of price prospects. We delineate two classes of risk averse consumers that have opposing rankings of price prospects with the same mean.

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