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The political economy of moral hazard


  • Jörg Guido Hülsmann


Conventional theory explains moral hazard as a consequence of information asymmetries. The present paper proposes an alternative approach. We argue that information asymmetries are just one among several causes of moral hazard and that they entail negative consequences for third parties only accidentally. By contrast, moral hazard also results from government interventionism. And in this case negative consequences are systematic and do result even in the absence of information asymmetries.

Suggested Citation

  • Jörg Guido Hülsmann, 2006. "The political economy of moral hazard," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2006(1), pages 35-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpol:v:2006:y:2006:i:1:id:544:p:35-47

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Corporate Governance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 1-35, January.
    2. 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..
    3. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Labor Turnover, Wage Structures, and Moral Hazard: The Inefficiency of Competitive Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 434-462, October.
    4. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    5. Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
    6. Bebczuk,Ricardo N., 2003. "Asymmetric Information in Financial Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521793421, May.
    7. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    8. Axel Dreher, 2004. "Does the IMF cause moral hazard? A critical review of the evidence," International Finance 0402003, EconWPA, revised 20 Dec 2004.
    9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    10. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    More about this item


    Moral hazard; political economy; information asymmetries; economic systems; Austrian economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General


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