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Multiple Dimensions of Private Information in Life Insurance Markets

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  • Xi Wu
  • Li Gan
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Abstract

Conventional theory for private information of adverse selection predicts a positive correlation between insurance coverage and ex post risk. This paper shows the opposite in the life insurance market despite the clear evidence of private information on mortality risk. The reason for this contradictory result is the existence of multiple dimensions of private information. The paper discusses how the private information on insurance preference offsets the effect of the private information on mortality risk. A mixture density model is applied to disentangle these two effects.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19629.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19629

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  1. Hakansson, Nils H, 1969. "Optimal Investment and Consumption Strategies under Risk, an Uncertain Lifetime, and Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 10(3), pages 443-66, October.
  2. Igal Hendel & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2000. "The Role of Commitment in Dynamic Contracts: Evidence from Life Insurance," NBER Working Papers 7470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. He, Daifeng, 2009. "The life insurance market: Asymmetric information revisited," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1090-1097, October.
  4. John Cawley & Tomas Philipson, 1996. "An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade in Insurance," NBER Working Papers 5669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Li Gan & Manuel A. Hernandez, 2011. "Making friends with your neighbors? Agglomeration and tacit collusion in the lodging industry," NBER Working Papers 16739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael Smart, 1996. "Competitive Insurance Markets with Two Unobservables," Working Papers msmart-96-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
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