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Political Risk Insurance and Foreign Direct Investments


  • Brockett Patrick L.

    (University of Texas. Austin)

  • Leng Chao-Chun

    (Towers Perrin)

  • Wen Min-Ming

    (California State University, Los Angeles)

  • Yang Charles C.

    (Department of Finance, Florida Atlantic University)


Political risk is an important consideration in the capital budgeting process for firms contemplating foreign direct investment (FDI) in emerging markets or in volatile political environments. Unfortunately, the unique characteristics of political risk make the application of familiar actuarially-based pricing models almost infeasible for valuating political risk insurance. In this article we employ utility theory instead to derive an equilibrium price (premium). This price maximizes an insurer’s expected profit and the insured’s expected utility, while taking into account the effects of risk control (self-protection) and risk financing (self-insurance). In addition, within this equilibrium framework, we derive the boundary level for the amount of foreign investment, the amount of political risk insurance coverage, and the minimum required rate of return of foreign investment. Finally, we employ a constant relative risk aversion (CRRA) utility function to illustrate the theoretical equilibrium model.

Suggested Citation

  • Brockett Patrick L. & Leng Chao-Chun & Wen Min-Ming & Yang Charles C., 2012. "Political Risk Insurance and Foreign Direct Investments," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-18, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:apjrin:v:6:y:2012:i:1:n:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cherian, Joseph A. & Perotti, Enrico, 2001. "Option pricing and foreign investment under political risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 359-377, December.
    2. Clark, Ephraim, 1997. "Valuing political risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 477-490, June.
    3. Blume, Marshall E & Friend, Irwin, 1975. "The Asset Structure of Individual Portfolios and Some Implications for Utility Functions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 585-603, May.
    4. Moller, Thomas, 2003. "Indifference pricing of insurance contracts in a product space model: applications," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 295-315, April.
    5. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-648, July-Aug..
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