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Optimal Insurance with Heterogeneous Beliefs and Disagreement about Zero-Probability Events

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  • Mario Ghossoub

    () (Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK)

Abstract

In problems of optimal insurance design, Arrow’s classical result on the optimality of the deductible indemnity schedule holds in a situation where the insurer is a risk-neutral Expected-Utility (EU) maximizer, the insured is a risk-averse EU-maximizer, and the two parties share the same probabilistic beliefs about the realizations of the underlying insurable loss. Recently, Ghossoub re-examined Arrow’s problem in a setting where the two parties have different subjective beliefs about the realizations of the insurable random loss, and he showed that if these beliefs satisfy a certain compatibility condition that is weaker than the Monotone Likelihood Ratio (MLR) condition, then optimal indemnity schedules exist and are nondecreasing in the loss. However, Ghossoub only gave a characterization of these optimal indemnity schedules in the special case of an MLR. In this paper, we consider the general case, allowing for disagreement about zero-probability events. We fully characterize the class of all optimal indemnity schedules that are nondecreasing in the loss, in terms of their distribution under the insured’s probability measure, and we obtain Arrow’s classical result, as well as one of the results of Ghossoub as corollaries. Finally, we formalize Marshall’s argument that, in a setting of belief heterogeneity, an optimal indemnity schedule may take “any”shape.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Ghossoub, 2016. "Optimal Insurance with Heterogeneous Beliefs and Disagreement about Zero-Probability Events," Risks, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-28, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jrisks:v:4:y:2016:i:3:p:29-:d:75385
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ghossoub, Mario, 2015. "Vigilant measures of risk and the demand for contingent claims," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 27-35.
    2. Anwar, Sajid & Zheng, Mingli, 2012. "Competitive insurance market in the presence of ambiguity," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 79-84.
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    6. Hanqing Jin & Xun Yu Zhou, 2008. "Behavioral Portfolio Selection In Continuous Time," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 385-426.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal insurance; deductible contract; subjective probability; heterogeneous beliefs; mutual singularity;

    JEL classification:

    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • M2 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics
    • M4 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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