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Costly risk verification without commitment in competitive insurance markets

  • Picard, Pierre

This paper analyzes the equilibrium of an insurance market where applicants for insurance have a duty of good faith when they reveal private information about their risk type. Insurers can, at some cost, verify the type of insureds who file a claim and they are allowed to retroactively void the insurance contract if it is established that the policyholder has misrepresented his risk when the contract was taken out. However, insurers cannot precommit to their risk verification strategy. The paper analyzes the relationship between second-best Pareto-optimality and the insurance market equilibrium in a game theoretic framework. It characterizes the contracts offered at equilibrium, the individuals' contract choice as well as the conditions under which an equilibrium exists.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 66 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 893-919

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:2:p:893-919
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  1. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium, I: Observable Actions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1799, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Khalil, Fahad & Parigi, Bruno M, 1998. "Loan Size as a Commitment Device," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 135-50, February.
  3. Joerg Schiller, 2003. "The Impact of Insurance Fraud Detection Systems," Microeconomics 0309003, EconWPA, revised 02 Oct 2003.
  4. Crocker, Keith J. & Snow, Arthur, 1985. "The efficiency of competitive equilibria in insurance markets with asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 207-219, March.
  5. Picard, Pierre, 1996. "Auditing claims in the insurance market with fraud: The credibility issue," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 27-56, December.
  6. A. Dixit & P. Picard, 2002. "On the Role of Good Faith in Insurance Contracting," Princeton Economic Theory Working Papers 26c6897fd1cd46f8f39ffb6ca, David K. Levine.
  7. M. Martin Boyer, 2004. "Overcompensation as a Partial Solution to Commitment and Renegotiation Problems: The Case of "Ex Post" Moral Hazard," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 71(4), pages 559-582.
  8. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  10. Dionne, G. & St-Michel, P. & Gibbens, A., 1993. "An Economic Analysis of Insurance Fraud," Cahiers de recherche 93010, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
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