Counterparty Risk in Insurance Contracts: Should the Insured Worry about the Insurer?
AbstractWe analyze the effect of counterparty risk on insurance contracts using the case of credit risk transfer in banking. In addition to the familiar moral hazard problem caused by the insuree's ability to influence the probability of a claim, this paper uncovers a new moral hazard problem on the other side of the market. We show that the insurer's investment strategy may not be in the best interests of the insuree. The reason for this is that if the insurer believes it is unlikely that a claim will be made, it is advantageous for them to invest in assets which earn higher returns, but may not be readily available if needed. This paper models both of these moral hazard problems in a unified framework. We find that instability in the insurer can create an incentive for the insuree to reveal superior information about the risk of their "investment". In particular, a unique separating equilibrium may exist even in the absence of any signalling device. We extend the model and show that increasing the number of insurers with which the insuree contracts can exacerbate the moral hazard problem and may not decrease counterparty risk. Our research suggests that regulators should be wary of risk being offloaded to other, possibly unstable parties, especially in newer financial markets such as that of credit derivatives.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1136.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Counterparty Risk; Moral Hazard; Insurance; Banking; Credit Derivatives;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Marsh, Ian W & Wagner, Wolf, 2004. "Credit Risk Transfer and Financial Sector Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 4265, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- James R. Thompson, 2007. "Credit Risk Transfer: To Sell or to Insure," Working Papers 1131, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
- Minton, Bernadette A. & Stulz, Rene M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2005.
"How Much Do Banks Use Credit Derivatives to Reduce Risk?,"
Working Paper Series
2005-17, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
- Bernadette A. Minton & René Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2005. "How Much Do Banks Use Credit Derivatives to Reduce Risk?," NBER Working Papers 11579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Duffee, Gregory R. & Zhou, Chunsheng, 2001.
"Credit derivatives in banking: Useful tools for managing risk?,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 25-54, August.
- Gregory R. Duffee and Chunsheng Zhou., 1999. "Credit Derivatives in Banking: Useful Tools for Managing Risk?," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-289, University of California at Berkeley.
- Duffee, Gregory R. & Zhou, Chunseng, 1999. "Credit Derivatives in Banking: Useful Tools for Managing Risk?," Research Program in Finance, Working Paper Series qt7g67n911, Research Program in Finance, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Gregory R. Duffee & Chunsheng Zhou, 1997. "Credit derivatives in banking: useful tools for managing risk?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-13, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Lasse H. Pedersen & Markus Brunnermeier, 2004.
Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings
425, Econometric Society.
- Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2004. "Predatory Trading," NBER Working Papers 10755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brunnermeier, Markus K & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2004. "Predatory Trading," CEPR Discussion Papers 4639, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Markus K Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pederson, 2003. "Predatory Trading," FMG Discussion Papers dp441, Financial Markets Group.
- Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena, 2006.
"Credit risk transfer and contagion,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 89-111, January.
- Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
- Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
- Peter DeMarzo & Darrell Duffie, 1999. "A Liquidity-Based Model of Security Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 65-100, January.
- Ajay Subramanian & Robert A. Jarrow, 2001. "The Liquidity Discount," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 447-474.
- Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
- Chen, Chang-Chih & Shyu, So-De & Yang, Chih-Yuan, 2011. "Counterparty effects on capital structure decision in incomplete market," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 2181-2189, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Babcock).
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.