The Causes and Consequences of Rate Regulation in the Auto Insurance Industry
In: The Economics of Property-Casualty Insurance
AbstractThis paper examines various explanations for the increase in the degree of regulation of the auto industry in the last ten years. Using cross section data for the State of California, the paper confirms earlier findings for the State of Massachusetts that the demand for auto insurance is highly price elastic. This implies that regulation induced price rollbacks (such as those mandated by California's popular initiative Proposition 103) have significant welfare effects. We explain the increase in regulation in two ways: a) As an attempt to lower rates to deal with the problem of the uninsured motorist. b) More fundamentally as a response to the perceived lack of fairness of the sharp increase in premiums in the 1980s. This perception of lack of fairness arises because, although auto insurance costs rose sharply in the 1980s, most buyers of auto insurance have no claims in any ten year period. Thus most buyers have only last year's premium as a reference point with which to judge the fairness of this year's premium. The hypothesis that the increase in regulation is driven by a perception of unfairness is tested by analyzing the cross county voting pattern on Proposition 103. Voting in favor of price regulation is positively correlated with the level of insurance premium. This result is consistent both with the view that voting behavior is based on self interest and with the view that the increased demand for regulation is driven by concerns that the large disparity in premiums across counties is unfair.
Download InfoIf 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.
This chapter was published in:
This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 6939.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Dwight Jaffee & Thomas Russell, 1995. "The Causes and Consequences of Rate Regulation in the Auto Insurance Industry," NBER Working Papers 5245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
- G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
- Blackmon, B Glenn, Jr & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1991. "Mispriced Equity: Regulated Rates for Auto Insurance in Massachusetts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 65-69, May.
- Bond, Eric W & Crocker, Keith J, 1991. "Smoking, Skydiving, and Knitting: The Endogenous Categorization of Risks in Insurance Markets with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 177-200, February.
- John G. Riley, 1976.
UCLA Economics Working Papers
071, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Smith, Eric & Wright, Randall, 1992.
"Why Is Automobile Insurance in Philadelphia So Damn Expensive?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 756-72, September.
- Eric Smith & Randall Wright, 1991. "Why is automobile insurance in Philadelphia so damn expensive?," Staff Report 139, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
- G. Dionne & N. Doherty & N. Fombaron, 2000.
"Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets,"
THEMA Working Papers
2000-21, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
- Malinvaud, E., 1972. "The allocation of individual risks in large markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 312-328, April.
- Kunreuther, Howard & Pauly, Mark, 1985. "Market equilibrium with private knowledge : An insurance example," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 269-288, April.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
- Hoy, Michael, 1982. "Categorizing Risks in the Insurance Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 321-36, May.
- Borenstein, Severin, 1989. "The economics of costly risk sorting in competitive insurance markets," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-39, June.
- Boyer, Marcel & Dionne, Georges, 1989. "An Empirical Analysis of Moral Hazard and Experience Rating," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 128-34, February.
- Keeton, William R & Kwerel, Evan, 1984. "Externalities in Automobile Insurance and the Underinsured Driver Problem," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 149-79, April.
- Crocker, Keith J & Snow, Arthur, 1986. "The Efficiency Effects of Categorical Discrimination in the Insurance Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 321-44, April.
- Rubinstein, Ariel & Yaari, Menahem E., 1983. "Repeated insurance contracts and moral hazard," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 74-97, June.
- Hoy, Michael, 1989. "The value of screening mechanisms under alternative insurance possibilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 177-206, July.
- Dahlby, B. G., 1983. "Adverse selection and statistical discrimination : An analysis of Canadian automobile insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 121-130, February.
- D'Arcy, Stephen P & Doherty, Neil A, 1990. "Adverse Selection, Private Information, and Lowballing in Insurance Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(2), pages 145-64, April.
- Dwight Jaffee, 2006. "Monoline Restrictions, with Applications to Mortgage Insurance and Title Insurance," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 83-108, 03.
- Dwight M. Jaffee & Thomas Russell, 1996. "Catastrophe Insurance, Capital Markets and Uninsurable Risks," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-12, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.