Department of Economics

Expected Utility in Models with Chaos

Department of Economics
University of Delaware
Working Paper #2007-16

Expected Utility in Models with Chaos

Judy Kennedy, Brian Raines and David R. Stockman


In this paper, we provide a framework for calculating expected utility in models with chaotic equilibria and consequently a framework for ranking chaos. Suppose that a dynamic economic model’s equilibria correspond to orbits generated by a chaotic dynamical system f : X ! X where X is a compact metric space and f is continuous. The map f could represent the forward dynamics xt+1 = f(xt) or the backward dynamics xt = f(xt+1). If f represents the forward/backward dynamics, the set of equilibria forms a direct/inverse limit space. We use a natural f-invariant measure on X to induce a measure on the direct/inverse limit space and show that this induced measure is a natural ¾-invariant measure where ¾ is the shift operator. We utilize this framework in the cash-in-advance model of money where f is the backward map to calculate expected utility when equilibria are chaotic.

Keywords: chaos, inverse limits, direct limits, natural invariant measure, cash-in-advance.

JEL: C6, E3, and E4.

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