Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Bounding the CRRA Utility Functions

Suen, Richard M. H. (2009): Bounding the CRRA Utility Functions.

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Abstract

The constant-relative-risk-aversion (CRRA) utility function is now predominantly used in quantitative macroeconomic studies. This function, however, is not bounded and thus creates problems when applying the standard tools of dynamic programming. This paper devises a method for "bounding" the CRRA utility functions. The proposed method is based on a set of conditions that can establish boundedness among a broad class of utility functions. These results are then used to construct a bounded utility function that is identical to a CRRA utility function except when consumption is very small or very large. It is shown that the constructed utility function also satisfies the Inada condition and is consistent with balanced growth.

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