Risk premiums and certainty equivalents of loss-averse newsvendors of bounded utility

Author

Industrial Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

Abstract

Loss-averse behavior makes the newsvendors avoid the losses more than seeking the probable gains as the losses have more psychological impact on the newsvendor than the gains. In economics and decision theory, the classical newsvendor models treat losses and gains equally likely, by disregarding the expected utility when the newsvendor is loss-averse. Moreover, the use of unbounded utility to model risk attitudes fails to explain some decision-making paradoxes. In contrast, this paper deals with the utility maximization of the newsvendor using a class of bounded utility functions to study the effect of loss aversion on the newsvendor certainty equivalents and risk premiums. New formulas are introduced to find the utility-optimal order quantity of the normal distribution. The results show that when an exponential loss aversion exists, the classical newsvendor optimal quantity serves as a lower bound when the overage costs are high and as an upper bound when the underage costs are high. In addition, we show that high loss aversion entails higher risk premiums. Similar conclusion holds when the overage/underage costs increase. Higher standard deviations, on the other hand, mean lower utility-optimal quantities and higher risk premiums. The presented formulas are advantageous in finding the optimal order quantities and risk premiums of a stochastic short-shelf life inventory when the loss is a key factor in the decision-making process.

Keywords