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Insurance and Information: Firms as a Commitment Device


  • Bovenberg, A Lans
  • Teulings, Coen N


We explore the role of firms in insuring risk-averse workers. As a device that allows workers to commit to the delivery of their output, the firm arises endogenously as an alternative to the spot market if workers are sufficiently risk averse and the firm can base incentive payments on good information. Competition, however, may allow the spot market and explicit contracts to crowd out implicit insurance provided by the firm, even though the latter yields higher welfare. We explain why different governance structures coexist in quite homogeneous industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Bovenberg, A Lans & Teulings, Coen N, 2002. "Insurance and Information: Firms as a Commitment Device," CEPR Discussion Papers 3441, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3441

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2013. "Credit within the Firm," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 211-247.

    More about this item


    commitment; implicit contracts; insurance; moral hazard; principal agent; shirking;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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