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Self-Protection and Insurance with Interdependencies

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  • Alexander Muermann
  • Howard Kunreuther
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    Abstract

    We study optimal investment in self-protection of insured individuals when they face interdependencies in the form of potential contamination from others. If individuals cannot coordinate their actions, then the positive externality of investing in self-protection implies that, in equilibrium, individuals underinvest in self-protection. Limiting insurance coverage through deductibles can partially internalize this externality and thereby improve individual and social welfare.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12827.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12827.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
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    Publication status: published as Alexander Muermann & Howard Kunreuther, 2008. "Self-protection and insurance with interdependencies," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 103-123, April.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12827

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    1. Shavell, Steven, 1991. "Individual precautions to prevent theft: Private versus socially optimal behavior," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 123-132, September.
    2. Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack," NBER Working Papers 5928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Steven Shavell, 1990. "Individual Precautions to Prevent Theft: Private Versus Socially OptimalBehavior," NBER Working Papers 3560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-48, July-Aug..
    5. Harris Schlesinger & Emilio Venezian, 1986. "Insurance Markets with Loss-Prevention Activity: Profits, Market Structure, and Consumer Welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 227-238, Summer.
    6. Kunreuther, Howard & Heal, Geoffrey, 2003. " Interdependent Security," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 231-49, March-May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Alexander Muermann & Howard Kunreuther, 2008. "Self-protection and insurance with interdependencies," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 103-123, April.

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