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Overconfidence, Insurance, and Paternalism

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  • Alvaro Sandroni
  • Francesco Squintani

Abstract

It is well known that when agents are fully rational, compulsory public insurance may make all agents better off in the Rothschild and Stiglitz (1976) model of insurance markets. We find that when sufficiently many agents underestimate their personal risks, compulsory insurance makes low-risk agents worse off. Hence, behavioral biases may weaken some of the well-established rationales for government intervention based on asymmetric information. (JEL D82, G22)

Suggested Citation

  • Alvaro Sandroni & Francesco Squintani, 2007. "Overconfidence, Insurance, and Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1994-2004, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:5:p:1994-2004
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.5.1994
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:oup:amlawe:v:19:y:2017:i:1:p:202-243. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Luis Santos-Pinto, 2010. "Labor Market Signaling with Overconfident Workers N.B.: This paper is replaced by Nr 11.07 "Labor Market Signaling and Self-Confidence: Wage Compression and the Gender Pay Gap" (December 201," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 10.07, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    3. Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2017. "Social insurance with competitive insurance markets and risk misperception," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 138-147.
    4. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers, 2012. "Consumer Protection and Contingent Charges," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 477-493, June.
    5. Michael D. Grubb, 2009. "Selling to Overconfident Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1770-1807, December.
    6. repec:eee:indorg:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:239-268 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sandroni, Alvaro & Squintani, Francesco, 2013. "Overconfidence and asymmetric information: The case of insurance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 149-165.
    8. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Demandable Deposits and its Implications for Financial Regulation," NBER Working Papers 16620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mark Armstrong, 2015. "Search and Ripoff Externalities," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(3), pages 273-302, November.
    10. De Feo, Giuseppe & Hindriks, Jean, 2014. "Harmful competition in insurance markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 213-226.
    11. Schumacher, Heiner, 2016. "Insurance, self-control, and contract flexibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 220-232.
    12. de Meza, David & Xie, Gang, 2014. "The deadweight gain of insurance taxation when risky activities are optional," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 109-116.
    13. Michael Grubb, 2015. "Behavioral Consumers in Industrial Organization: An Overview," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(3), pages 247-258, November.
    14. Benoît, Jean-Pierre & Dubra, Juan, 2007. "Overconfidence?," MPRA Paper 6017, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2007.
    15. Bubb, Ryan & Kaufman, Alex, 2013. "Consumer biases and mutual ownership," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 39-57.
    16. Jean‐Pierre Benoît & Juan Dubra, 2011. "Apparent Overconfidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1591-1625, September.
    17. Jing Ai & Lin Zhao & Wei Zhu, 2016. "Contracting with Present-Biased Consumers in Insurance Markets," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory, Springer;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 41(2), pages 107-148, September.
    18. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2017. "Optimal Liability when Consumers Mispredict Product Usage," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 202-243.
    19. Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2013. "Long-term care policy, myopia and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 33-43.
    20. Rachel J. Huang & Alexander Muermann & Larry Y. Tzeng, 2016. "Hidden Regret In Insurance Markets," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 83(1), pages 181-216, January.
    21. Luís Santos-Pinto, 2012. "Labor Market Signaling and Self-Confidence: Wage Compression and the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 873-914.
    22. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Alp Simsek & Wei Xiong, 2014. "A Welfare Criterion For Models With Distorted Beliefs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1753-1797.
    23. Philipp Meyer-Brauns, 2014. "Optimal Auditing with Heterogeneous Audit Perceptions," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-06, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    24. repec:eee:jhecon:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:95-107 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2014. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability vs. Minimum Quality Standard Regulation," CESifo Working Paper Series 5003, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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