In this paper we consider stochastic recursive equations of sum type, , and of max type, , where A
, and b are random, (X
) are independent, identically distributed copies of X, and denotes equality in distribution. Equations of these types typically characterize limits in the probabilistic analysis of algorithms, in combinatorial optimization problems, and in many other problems having a recursive structure. We develop some new contraction properties of minimal L
-metrics which allow us to establish general existence and uniqueness results for solutions without imposing any moment conditions. As an application we obtain a one-to-one relationship between the set of solutions to the homogeneous equation and the set of solutions to the inhomogeneous equation, for sum- and max-type equations. We also give a stochastic interpretation of a recent transfer principle of Rösler from nonnegative solutions of sum type to those of max type, by means of random scaled Weibull distributions.