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Insurance Demand under Prospect Theory:A Graphical Analysis

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  • Ulrich Schmidt

Abstract

This paper analyzes insurance demand under prospect theory in a simple model with two states of the world and fair insurance contracts. We argue that two different reference points are reasonable in this framework, state-dependent initial wealth or final wealth after buying full insurance. Applying the value function of Tversky and Kahneman (1992), we find that for both reference points subjects will either demand full insurance or no insurance at all. Moreover, this decision depends on the probability of the loss: the higher the probability of the loss, the higher is the propensity to take up insurance. This result can explain empirical evidence which has shown that people are unwilling to insure rare losses at subsidized premiums and at the same time take-up insurance for moderate risks at highly loaded premiums

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1764.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1764

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Keywords: insurance demand; prospect theory; flood insurance; diminishing sensitivity; loss; aversion;

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References

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  1. Susan K. Laury & Melayne Morgan McInnes & J. Todd Swarthout, 2008. "Insurance Purchase for Low-Probability Losses," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2008-03, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Oct 2008.
  2. Kunreuther, Howard & Pauly, Mark, 2006. "Insurance Decision-Making and Market Behavior," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 1(2), pages 63-127, April.
  3. Schmidt, Ulrich & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 2008. "Third-generation prospect theory," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 28932, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  4. John C. Hershey & Paul J. H. Schoemaker, 1985. "Probability Versus Certainty Equivalence Methods in Utility Measurement: Are they Equivalent?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(10), pages 1213-1231, October.
  5. Philip Ganderton & David Brookshire & Michael McKee & Steve Stewart & Hale Thurston, 2000. "Buying Insurance for Disaster-Type Risks: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 271-289, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Osberghaus, Daniel, 2013. "Prospect theory, mitigation and adaptation to climate change," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-091, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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