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An Evolutionary Analysis of Insurance Markets Under Adverse Selection


  • Ania, A.B.
  • Troger, T.
  • Wambach, A.


Since the seminal work by Rothschild and Stiglitz on competitive insurance markets under adverse selection the problem of non-existence of equilibrium hat puzzled many economists. In this paper we approach this problem from an evolutionary point of view. In a dynamic model insurance companies remove lossmaking contracts from the market and copy profit making ones. Occasionally, they also experiment, adding new contracts or removing current ones arbitrarily. We show that the Rothschild-Stiglitz outcome arises in the long run if it cinstitutes an equilibrium in the static framework, but also if it is not an equilibrium, provides that firms only experiment with contracts in the vicinity of their current portfolio.

Suggested Citation

  • Ania, A.B. & Troger, T. & Wambach, A., 1998. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Insurance Markets Under Adverse Selection," Papers 9808, Washington St. Louis - School of Business and Political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:waslbp:9808

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
    2. Matsui Akihiko & Matsuyama Kiminori, 1995. "An Approach to Equilibrium Selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 415-434, April.
    3. Gilboa, Itzhak & Matsui, Akihiko, 1992. "A model of random matching," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 185-197.
    4. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, January.
    5. Boylan Richard T., 1995. "Continuous Approximation of Dynamical Systems with Randomly Matched Individuals," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 615-625, August.
    6. Michael Peters, 1995. "On the Equivalence of Walrasian and Non-Walrasian Equilibria in Contract Markets: The case of Complete Contracts," Working Papers peters-95-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    7. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-1454, September.
    8. McLennan, Andrew & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1991. "Sequential Bargaining as a Noncooperative Foundation for Walrasian Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1395-1424, September.
    9. Feldman, Mark & Gilles, Christian, 1985. "An expository note on individual risk without aggregate uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 26-32, February.
    10. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1998. "The Social Selection of Flexible and Rigid Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 63-82, March.
    11. Boylan, Richard T., 1992. "Laws of large numbers for dynamical systems with randomly matched individuals," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 473-504, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alos-Ferrer, Carlos & Ania, Ana B., 2001. "Local equilibria in economic games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 165-173, February.
    2. Inderst, Roman & Wambach, Achim, 2001. "Competitive insurance markets under adverse selection and capacity constraints," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1981-1992, December.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General


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