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Overconfidence, Insurance, and Paternalism

Listed author(s):
  • Alvaro Sandroni
  • Francesco Squintani

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)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.97.5.1994
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec07/20051082_app.pdf
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1994-2004

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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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  1. Paul Heidhues & Botond Köszegi, 2004. "The Impact of Consumer Loss Aversion on Pricing," CIG Working Papers SP II 2004-17, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  2. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
  3. Michael Manove & A. Jorge Padilla, 1999. "Banking (Conservatively) with Optimists," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 324-350, Summer.
  4. Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Competition over agents with boundedly rational expectations," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 207-231, June.
  5. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540.
  6. Muhamet Yildiz, 2003. "Bargaining without a Common Prior-An Immediate Agreement Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 793-811, 05.
  7. B. Dahlby, 1981. "Adverse selection and Pareto improvements through compulsory insurance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 547-558, January.
  8. Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
  9. Landier, Augustin & Thesmar, David, 2003. "Financial Contracting with Optimistic Entrepreneurs: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
  11. Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos, 2002. "Competitive Pooling: Rothschild-Stiglitz Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1529-1570.
  12. Luís Santos-Pinto & Joel Sobel, 2005. "A Model of Positive Self-Image in Subjective Assessments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1386-1402, December.
  13. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
  14. Mark V. Pauly, 1994. "Universal Health Insurance in the Clinton Plan: Coverage as a Tax-Financed Public Good," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 45-53, Summer.
  15. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
  16. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915.
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