Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Productivity of European Life Insurers: Best-Practice Adoption vs. Innovation


Author Info

  • Fabio Bertoni

    (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano—Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan 20133, Italy. E-mails:;

  • Annalisa Croce

    (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano—Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan 20133, Italy. E-mails:;


The aim of this work is to investigate the drivers of productivity evolution in the European life insurance industry in the aftermath of the enforcement of the Third Directive. We apply Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to a panel of 602 life insurance companies operating in five European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the U.K.) between 1997 and 2004 and develop a generalized Malmquist efficiency decomposition to gauge the relative importance of two sources of productivity change: the improvement of best-practices via innovation, and the adoption of practices currently adopted by local or foreign best-in-class insurers. We find that productivity increased on an annual basis by 6.71 per cent; the increase has been mostly due to innovation in best-practices (6.67 per cent), while best-practice adoption contributed by a mere 0.04 per cent. Our findings also indicate that, over the period of our analysis, innovation of best-practices was attributable to technological change. We find no evidence, instead, that productivity has been driven by a shift in the risk profile of insurers.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
File Function: Link to full text PDF
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

File URL:
File Function: Link to full text HTML
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Issues and Practice.

Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 165-185

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:pal:gpprii:v:36:y:2011:i:2:p:165-185

Contact details of provider:
Web page:

Order Information:
Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Huang, Wei & Eling, Martin, 2013. "An efficiency comparison of the non-life insurance industry in the BRIC countries," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 226(3), pages 577-591.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:gpprii:v:36:y:2011:i:2:p:165-185. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elizabeth Gale).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.