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Competition in markets for life insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Michiel Bijlsma

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Machiel van Dijk

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Marc Pomp

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Cora Zonderland

Abstract

This report presents an empirical analysis of competition in the market for life insurance. In this market, financial advisors play a large role. Therefore, the report devotes considerable attention to the functioning of the market for financial advice. The main findings are as follows. Empirical indicators of competition find only weak competition in the market for life insurance. There are substantial economies of scale, large X-inefficiencies, and limited competition as measured by the Boone-indicator compared to other services sectors. Also, the higher profitability of Dutch life insurers compared to their foreign peers suggests weak competition, although it should be pointed out that this indicator mainly reflects the situation in the past. Better functioning of financial advisors offers a key towards improving competition. Consumers who purchased annuities through advisors are found to achieve lower pay-outs than consumers who purchased directly from life insurers. This finding underlines the importance of more transparency of life insurance products and of independent advice.

Suggested Citation

  • Michiel Bijlsma & Machiel van Dijk & Marc Pomp & Cora Zonderland, 2005. "Competition in markets for life insurance," CPB Document 96, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:docmnt:96
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Jaap Bikker & Michiel van Leuvensteijn, 2005. "An Exploration into Competition and Efficiency in the Dutch Life Insurance Industry," DNB Working Papers 047, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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