Regulation and efficiency in European insurance markets
Abstract"With a series of directives completed in 1994 the European Commission tried to open and harmonize national European insurance markets. This has led to considerable deregulation in several countries. This paper surveys pre-1994 regulation in Germany and the UK and the Commission's policy. It argues that it is unlikely that the policy will have a significant impact on direct international competition between European insurance markets, until there is standardization of insurance law. However, the tightly regulated markets will become more like the loosely regulated UK market. The paper evaluates this outcome and concludes that the European Commission's policy may thereby have improved the welfare of insurance buyers in the previously highly regulated countries such as Germany. The paper also uses efficiency-frontier estimation to compare the dispersion of firm efficiencies in the German and British life insurance market. The results support the hypothesis that tighter solvency regulation allows the survival of a larger proportion of higher-cost firms." Copyright Centre for Economic Policy Research, Center for Economic Studies, Maison des Sciences de l'homme, 1999.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.
Volume (Year): 14 (1999)
Issue (Month): 29 (October)
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