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Stochastic differential utility. (English) Zbl 0763.90005
Summary: This paper presents a stochastic differential formulation of recursive utility. Sufficient conditions are given for existence, uniqueness, time consistency, monotonicity, continuity, risk aversion, concavity, and other properties. In the setting of Brownian information, recursive and intertemporal expected utility functions are observationally distinguishable. However, one cannot distinguish between a number of non- expected-utility theories of one-shot choice under uncertainty after they are suitably integrated into an intertemporal framework. In a “smooth” Markov setting, the stochastic differential utility model produces a generalization of the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman characterization of optimality. A companion paper explores the implications for asset prices.

MSC:
91B16 Utility theory
93E20 Optimal stochastic control
91B06 Decision theory
91B08 Individual preferences
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