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Organization and efficiency in the international insurance industry: A cross-frontier analysis

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  • Biener, Christian
  • Eling, Martin

Abstract

This paper employs cross-frontier analysis, an innovative tool based on data envelopment analysis, to provide new insight into the relationship between organization and efficiency in international insurance markets. We are the first to empirically test the expense preference hypothesis and the efficient structure hypothesis in a large cross-country study. For this purpose, we consider 23,807 firm-years for 21 countries from northern America and the European Union—a dataset not previously analyzed in this context. We find evidence for the efficient structure hypothesis in selected market segments, but we find no evidence for the expense preference hypothesis. Our results provide insight into the competitiveness of stock and mutual insurers from different countries. At the country level, the results can be used to compare different insurance markets. Our findings are especially interesting for the strategic management of insurance companies as well as for regulators and boards of national insurance associations.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:221:y:2012:i:2:p:454-468
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2012.03.037
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    3. Arabmaldar, Aliasghar & Sahoo, Biresh K. & Ghiyasi, Mojtaba, 2023. "A generalized robust data envelopment analysis model based on directional distance function," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 311(2), pages 617-632.
    4. Biresh K. Sahoo & Kaoru Tone, 2022. "Evaluating the potential efficiency gains from optimal industry configuration: A case of life insurance industry of India," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 43(8), pages 3996-4009, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Gaganis, Chrysovalantis & Hasan, Iftekhar & Pasiouras, Fotios, 2016. "Regulations, institutions and income smoothing by managing technical reserves: International evidence from the insurance industry," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 59(PA), pages 113-129.
    7. Schmeiser, Hato & Orozco-Garcia, Carolina, 2021. "The merits of pooling claims: Mutual vs. stock insurers," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 92-104.
    8. Radojko LUKIC & Miro SOKIC & Dragana Vojteski KLJENAK, 2017. "Efficiency Analysis Of Banking Sector In Republic Of Serbia," Business Excellence and Management, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 7(4), pages 5-17, December.
    9. Huang, Wei & Eling, Martin, 2013. "An efficiency comparison of the non-life insurance industry in the BRIC countries," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 226(3), pages 577-591.
    10. William WISE, 2018. "The importance of efficiency for life insurer profit: A study of Canadian life insurance companies," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania / Editura Economica, vol. 0(4(617), W), pages 179-204, Winter.
    11. Andrew C. Worthington & Lan Nguyen, 2024. "COVID‐19 and Efficiency, Technology and Productivity Change in Australian Private Health Insurance Funds," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 43(2), pages 169-183, June.
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    15. Gustavo Ferro & Sonia León, 2018. "A Stochastic Frontier Analysis of Efficiency in Argentina’s Non-Life Insurance Market," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 43(1), pages 158-174, January.
    16. Jakša Krišto & Antti Talonen & Hrvoje Pauković, 2021. "Analysis of community‐owned mutual insurers' prospects of development in CEE countries: Outlining research agenda," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 24(3), pages 243-261, September.
    17. Lan Nguyen & Andrew C. Worthington, 2021. "Industry regulation, fund characteristics, and the efficiency of Australian private health insurers," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(1), pages 781-801, March.
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    21. Kaffash, Sepideh & Azizi, Roza & Huang, Ying & Zhu, Joe, 2020. "A survey of data envelopment analysis applications in the insurance industry 1993–2018," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 284(3), pages 801-813.
    22. Tai-Hsin Huang & Yi-Chun Lin & Kuo-Jui Huang & Yu-Wei Liao, 2022. "Comparing Cost Efficiency Between Financial and Non-financial Holding Banks and Insurers in Taiwan Under the Framework of Copula Methods and Metafrontier," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 29(4), pages 735-766, December.
    23. Lei Peng & Zhaotong Lian, 2021. "Diversification and efficiency of life insurers in China and India," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 46(4), pages 710-730, October.
    24. Sen Subir, 2020. "Analysis of Cost Efficiency of Indian Life Insurers: A comparison of Quantity vs Value based DEA Approach," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, January.
    25. Schaper, Philipp, 2017. "Under pressure: how the business environment affects productivity and efficiency of European life insurance companiesAuthor-Name: Eling, Martin," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 258(3), pages 1082-1094.

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