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Political Cost Incentives for Managing the Property‐Liability Insurer Loss Reserve

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  • MARTIN F. GRACE
  • J. TYLER LEVERTY

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of rate regulation on the management of the property‐liability insurer loss reserve. The political cost hypothesis predicts that managers make accounting choices to reduce wealth transfers resulting from the regulatory process. Managers may under‐state reserves to justify lower rates to regulators. Alternatively, managers may have an incentive to report loss inflating discretionary reserves to reduce the cost of regulatory rate suppression. We find insurers over‐state reserves in the presence of stringent rate regulation. Investigating the impact along the conditional reserve error distribution, we discover that a majority of the response occurs from under‐reserving firms under‐reserving less because of stringent rate regulation.

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  • Martin F. Grace & J. Tyler Leverty, 2010. "Political Cost Incentives for Managing the Property‐Liability Insurer Loss Reserve," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 21-49, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:21-49
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-679X.2009.00358.x
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    3. Han, Sangyong & Lai, Gene C. & Ho, Chia-Ling, 2018. "Corporate transparency and reserve management: Evidence from US property-liability insurance companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 379-392.
    4. Willie Dion Reddic, 0. "Under pressure: investment behaviour of insurers under different financial and regulatory conditions," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    5. Yi-hsun Lai & Wen-chang Lin & Liang-wei Kuo, 2018. "Forestalling capital regulation or masking financial weakness? Evidence from loss reserve management in the property–liability insurance industry," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 481-518, February.
    6. Jan Hájek, 2020. "Effect of tax deductibility on technical reserves recognized by Czech and Slovak insurance companies [Vliv daňové uznatelnosti na výši technických rezerv tvořených českými a slovenskými pojišťovnam," Český finanční a účetní časopis, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2020(3-4).
    7. Jiang Cheng & Travis Chow & Tzu‐Ting Lin & Jeffrey Ng, 2022. "The effect of accounting for income tax uncertainty on tax‐deductible loss accruals for private insurers," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 89(2), pages 505-544, June.
    8. Jan Hájek, 2020. "Effect of tax deductibility on technical reserves recognized by Czech and Slovak insurance companies [Vliv daňové uznatelnosti na výši technických rezerv tvořených českými a slovenskými pojišťovnam," Český finanční a účetní časopis, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2020(3-4), pages 25-37.
    9. Jiang Cheng & J. David Cummins & Tzuting Lin, 2021. "Earnings management surrounding forced CEO turnover: evidence from the U.S. property-casualty insurance industry," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 56(3), pages 819-847, April.
    10. Shan Ge, 2022. "How Do Financial Constraints Affect Product Pricing? Evidence from Weather and Life Insurance Premiums," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 449-503, February.
    11. Willie Dion Reddic, 2021. "Under pressure: investment behaviour of insurers under different financial and regulatory conditions," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 46(1), pages 1-20, January.
    12. Fiordelisi, Franco & Meles, Antonio & Monferrà, Stefano & Starita, Maria Grazia, 2013. "Personal vs. Corporate Goals: Why do Insurance Companies Manage Loss Reserves?," MPRA Paper 47867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. M. Martin Boyer & Elijah Brewer & Willie Reddic, 2019. "The Association between Complexity and Managerial Discretion in the Property and Casualty Insurance Industry," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(03), pages 1-33, September.
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    15. M. Martin Boyer & Elicia P. Cowins & Willie D. Reddic, 2020. "Operational risk management and regulatory investment constraints on portfolio allocation: evidence from property and casualty insurers," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 20-52, February.
    16. Michael J. Peel, 2014. "Addressing unobserved endogeneity bias in accounting studies: control and sensitivity methods by variable type," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 545-571, October.
    17. Kai Wang & Lei Fang & Jiang Cheng, 2020. "Management of commissions to meet the regulatory requirements: the case of property–casualty insurance in China," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 45(3), pages 508-534, July.
    18. Jivas Chakravarthy & Katie E. McDermott & Roger M. White, 2021. "Are Regulators Effective at Unraveling Accounting Manipulation? Evidence from Public Utility Commissions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 67(7), pages 4532-4555, July.
    19. Fang Sun & Xiangjing Wei, 2019. "Property-Liability Insurers’ Discretionary and Nondiscretionary Loss Reserve Error: Relation with Investor Sentiment," Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies (RPBFMP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 22(03), pages 1-20, September.

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