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Moral Hazard and Background Risk in Competitive Insurance Markets

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  • JAMES A. LIGON
  • PAUL D. THISTLE

Abstract

We examine the effect of background risk on competitive insurance markets with moral hazard. If policy-holders have non-negative prudence, then background risk does not decrease effort and, when effort increases, expands the set of feasible policies. However, the effect of background risk on equilibrium is indeterminate. We analyse the choice between stock and mutual insurance; mutual insurance is equivalent to a fair policy plus background risk. Our results imply that competitive insurance markets with moral hazard should be dominated by stock insurers. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • James A. Ligon & Paul D. Thistle, 2008. "Moral Hazard and Background Risk in Competitive Insurance Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(300), pages 700-709, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:75:y:2008:i:300:p:700-709
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    2. Alberto Bisin & Danilo Guaitoli, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Nonexclusive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 306-328, Summer.
    3. Richard Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 344-362, Autumn.
    4. Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
    5. Charles M. Kahn & Dilip Mookherjee, 1998. "Competition and Incentives with Nonexclusive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 443-465, Autumn.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    7. James A. Ligon & Paul D. Thistle, 2005. "The Formation of Mutual Insurers in Markets with Adverse Selection," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 529-556, March.
    8. Neil A. Doherty & Harris Schlesinger, 1990. "Rational Insurance Purchasing: Consideration of Contract Nonperformance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 243-253.
    9. Steven Shavell, 1979. "On Moral Hazard and Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 541-562.
    10. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. " The Basic Analytics of Moral Hazard," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(3), pages 383-413.
    11. Olivier Mahul & Brian D. Wright, 2004. "Implications of Incomplete Performance for Optimal Insurance," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(284), pages 661-670, November.
    12. Richard Arnott & Joseph Stiglitz, 1991. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets with Moral Hazard," NBER Working Papers 3588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesca Barigozzi & Renaud Bourlès & Dominique Henriet & Giuseppe Pignataro, 2017. "Pool size and the sustainability of optimal risk-sharing agreements," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 82(2), pages 273-303, February.
    2. repec:eee:jhecon:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:95-107 is not listed on IDEAS

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