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Background Uncertainty and the Demand for Insurance Against Insurable Risks

  • Guiso, Luigi
  • Jappelli, Tullio

Theory suggests that people facing higher uninsurable background risk buy more insurance against other risks that are insurable. This proposition is supported by Italian cross-sectional data. It is shown that the probability of purchasing casualty insurance increases with earnings uncertainty. This finding is consistent with consumer preferences being characterized by decreasing absolute prudence.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1423.

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Date of creation: Jun 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1423
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  1. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Doherty, Neil A & Schlesinger, Harris, 1983. "Optimal Insurance in Incomplete Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 1045-54, December.
  4. Dionne, G. & Gollier, C., 1991. "Comparative Statics Under Multiple Sources of Risk with Appllications to Insurance Demand," Cahiers de recherche 9133, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  5. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Precautionary Motives for Holding Assets," NBER Working Papers 3586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Skinner, Jonathan, 1988. "Risky income, life cycle consumption, and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 237-255, September.
  7. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Standard Risk Aversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Douglas W. Elmendorf & Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Taxation of Labor Income and the Demand For Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 3904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Anne Gron & Deborah J. Lucas, 1998. "External Financing and Insurance Cycles," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Property-Casualty Insurance, pages 5-28 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jonathan Gruber & James M. Poterba, 1993. "Tax Incentives and the Decision to Purchase Health Insurance: Evidence from the Self-Employed," NBER Working Papers 4435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  12. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  13. Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1983. "The Interdependence of Individual Portfolio Decisions and the Demand for Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 304-11, April.
  14. Doherty, Neil A & Schlesinger, Harris, 1983. "The Optimal Deductible for an Insurance Policy When Initial Wealth Is Random," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 555-65, October.
  15. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1994. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Lewis, Frank D, 1989. "Dependents and the Demand for Life Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 452-67, June.
  17. Gollier, Christian & Pratt, John W, 1996. "Risk Vulnerability and the Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1109-23, September.
  18. EECKHOUDT, Louis & Christian GOLLIER & Harris SCHLESINGER, 1994. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk Taking Behavior," Working Papers 005, Risk and Insurance Archive.
  19. Marti G. Subrahmanyam & Günter Franke & Richard C. Stapleton, 1998. "The Size of Background Risk and the Theory of Risk Bearing," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-066, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  20. Darrell Duffie & Thaleia Zariphopoulou, 1993. "Optimal Investment With Undiversifiable Income Risk," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 135-148.
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