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The determinants of efficiency and productivity in the Swiss insurance industry

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  • Biener, Christian
  • Eling, Martin
  • Wirfs, Jan Hendrik

Abstract

Using state-of-the-art frontier efficiency methodologies, we study the efficiency and productivity of Swiss insurance companies in the life, property/casualty, and reinsurance sectors from 1997–2013. In this context, we provide the first empirical analysis of internationalization strategies of insurance companies, a topic of high interest in the business and economics literature, but one that has to date not been the focus of efficiency studies in the insurance sector. We find that productivity and efficiency have improved with regard to property/casualty and reinsurance. In the case of life insurance, productivity and efficiency diminished; however, life insurance firms with higher levels of international business exhibit superior efficiency levels. We observe that diversification strategies directed to the European market are more beneficial compared to those targeting markets outside of Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Biener, Christian & Eling, Martin & Wirfs, Jan Hendrik, 2016. "The determinants of efficiency and productivity in the Swiss insurance industry," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(2), pages 703-714.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:248:y:2016:i:2:p:703-714
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2015.07.055
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