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Efficiency and Demutualization: Evidence From the U.S. Life Insurance Industry in the 1980s and 1990s


  • Vivian Jeng
  • Gene C. Lai
  • Michael J. McNamara


This article examines the efficiency changes of U.S. life insurers before and after demutualization in the 1980s and 1990s. We use two frontier approaches (the value-added approach and the financial intermediary approach) to measure the efficiency changes. In addition, we use Malmquist indices to investigate the efficiency and productivity change of converted life insurers over time. The results using the value-added approach indicate that demutualized life insurers improve their efficiency before demutualization. On the other hand, the evidence using the financial intermediary approach shows the efficiency of the demutualized life insurers relative to mutual control insurers deteriorates before demutualization and improves after conversion. The difference in the results between the two approaches is due to the fact that the financial intermediary approach considers financial conditions. The results of both approaches suggest that there is no efficiency improvement after demutualization relative to stock control insurers. There is, however, efficiency improvement relative to mutual control insurers when the financial intermediary approach is used. Copyright The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Vivian Jeng & Gene C. Lai & Michael J. McNamara, 2007. "Efficiency and Demutualization: Evidence From the U.S. Life Insurance Industry in the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(3), pages 683-711.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:74:y:2007:i:3:p:683-711

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chiang Ku Fan, 2012. "Compare bancassurance sales with an insurer's own team in Taiwan," International Journal of Business Performance Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 13(3/4), pages 274-293.
    2. Jacob A. Bikker, 2016. "Performance of the Life Insurance Industry Under Pressure: Efficiency, Competition, and Consolidation," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 19(1), pages 73-104, March.
    3. Pang-Ru Chang & Jin-Lung Peng & Chiang Ku Fan, 2011. "A Comparison of Bancassurance and Traditional Insurer Sales Channels," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 36(1), pages 76-93, January.
    4. Leverty, J. Tyler & Grace, Martin F., 2010. "The robustness of output measures in property-liability insurance efficiency studies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1510-1524, July.
    5. Khan, Atiquzzafar & Noreen, Uzma, 2014. "Efficiency Measure of Insurance v/s Tak ful Firms Using DEA Approach: A Case of Pakistan," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 22, pages 139-158.
    6. Jarraya, Bilel & Bouri, Abdelfettah, 2012. "Efficiency concept and investigations in insurance industry: A survey," MPRA Paper 53544, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.
    7. Braun, Alexander & Schmeiser, Hato & Rymaszewski, Przemysław, 2015. "Stock vs. mutual insurers: Who should and who does charge more?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 242(3), pages 875-889.
    8. Biener, Christian & Eling, Martin, 2012. "Organization and efficiency in the international insurance industry: A cross-frontier analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 221(2), pages 454-468.
    9. repec:pal:gpprii:v:42:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41288-017-0045-4 is not listed on IDEAS

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