New PDF release: A Blueprint. Corporate Governance

By Fred R. Kaen

ISBN-10: 081440586X

ISBN-13: 9780814405864

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Example text

44 He thus undoubtedly contributed to the unfortunate blurring between normative and descriptive perspectives in portfolio choice theory. Since the focus of this treatise is on normative decision rules, the empirical validity of Markowitz’s µ–σ2 rule will not be discussed in detail. It may be noted, though, that Markowitz disregards the subjective character of all decision rules. He disregards the need to have all results evaluated by the individual, who must assign utilities to the returns before he or she can make any decision.

Markowitz’s rule can be discussed both from a normative and a descriptive point of view. 44 He thus undoubtedly contributed to the unfortunate blurring between normative and descriptive perspectives in portfolio choice theory. Since the focus of this treatise is on normative decision rules, the empirical validity of Markowitz’s µ–σ2 rule will not be discussed in detail. It may be noted, though, that Markowitz disregards the subjective character of all decision rules. He disregards the need to have all results evaluated by the individual, who must assign utilities to the returns before he or she can make any decision.

Serving both normative and descriptive analysis has undoubtedly contributed to its predominant role. On the other hand, its serving two masters has caused the expected utility principle to become a prime example of the continuing blurring of normative and descriptive decision theory. Discussing it will thus not only illuminate the predominant definition of ‘rationality’. It will also illustrate how to separate justified from unjustified criticism. There do exist direct applications of the expected utility principle to portfolio choice theory.

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A Blueprint. Corporate Governance by Fred R. Kaen


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