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Consolidation and efficiency in the U.S. life insurance industry

  • J. David Cummins
  • Sharon Tennyson
  • Mary A. Weiss

This paper examines the relationship between mergers and acquisitions, efficiency, and scale economies in the U.S. life insurance industry. We estimate cost and revenue efficiency over the period 1988-1995 using data envelopment analysis (DEA). The Malmquist methodology is used to measure changes in efficiency over time. We find that acquired firms achieve greater efficiency gains than firms that have not been involved in mergers or acquisitions. Firms operating with nondecreasing returns to scale and financially vulnerable firms are more likely to be acquisition targets. Overall, mergers and acquisitions in the life insurance industry have had a beneficial effect on efficiency.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 98-18.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:98-18
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  1. Bauer, Paul W. & Berger, Allen N. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Humphrey, David B., 1998. "Consistency Conditions for Regulatory Analysis of Financial Institutions: A Comparison of Frontier Efficiency Methods," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 85-114, March.
  2. Allen N. Berger & J. David Cummins & Mary A. Weiss, 1995. "The coexistence of multiple distribution systems for financial services: the case of property-liability insurance," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Gardner, Lisa A. & Grace, Martin F., 1993. "X-Efficiency in the US life insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 497-510, April.
  4. J. David Cummins & Hongmin Zi, 1997. "Comparison of Frontier Efficiency Methods: An Application to the U.S. Life Insurance Industry," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-03, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Loretta J. Mester, 1989. "Testing for expense preference behavior: mutual versus stock savings and loans," Working Papers 89-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Allen N. Berger & Timothy H. Hannan, 1994. "The efficiency cost of market power in the banking industry: a test of the "quiet life" and related hypotheses," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Jalal D. Akhavein & Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1996. "The Effects of Megamergers on Efficiency and Prices: Evidence from a Bank Profit Function," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-03, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Andrew M. Yuengert, 1993. "The measurement of efficiency in life insurance estimates of a mixed normal-gamma error model," Research Paper 9308, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: international survey and directions for future research," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521453455 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. J. Cummins & Hongmin Zi, 1998. "Comparison of Frontier Efficiency Methods: An Application to the U.S. Life Insurance Industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 131-152, October.
  12. Yuengert, Andrew M., 1993. "The measurement of efficiency in life insurance: Estimates of a mixed normal-gamma error model," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 483-496, April.
  13. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1992. "Measurement and Efficiency Issues in Commercial Banking," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 245-300 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1988. "Ownership Structure across Lines of Property-Casualty Insurance," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 351-78, October.
  15. Benston, George J & Hunter, William C & Wall, Larry D, 1995. "Motivations for Bank Mergers and Acquisitions: Enhancing the Deposit Insurance Put Option versus Earnings Diversification," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 777-88, August.
  16. Lamm-Tennant, Joan & Starks, Laura T, 1993. "Stock versus Mutual Ownership Structures: The Risk Implications," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 29-46, January.
  17. Cummins, J. David & Weiss, Mary A., 1993. "Measuring cost efficiency in the property-liability insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2-3), pages 463-481, April.
  18. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1992. "Megamergers in banking and the use of cost efficiency as an antitrust defense," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 203, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Aly, Hassan Y, et al, 1990. "Technical, Scale, and Allocative Efficiencies in U.S. Banking: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 211-18, May.
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