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Voluntary Contributions to a Mutual Insurance Pool

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  • Louis Lévy-Garboua

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSE - Paris School of Economics, CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal)

  • Claude Montmarquette

    () (CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal)

  • Jonathan Vaksmann

    (UM - Le Mans Université)

  • Marie-Claire Villeval

    () (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We study mutual-aid games in which individuals choose to contribute to an informal mutual insurance pool. Individual coverage is determined by the aggregate level of contributions and a sharing rule. We analyze theoretically and experimentally the (ex ante) efficiency of equal and contribution-based coverage. The equal coverage mechanism leads to a unique no-insurance equilibrium while contribution-based coverage develops multiple equilibria and improves efficiency. Experimentally, the latter treatment reduces the amount of transfers from high contributors to low contributors and generates a \dual interior equilibrium". That dual equilibrium is consistent with the co-existence of different prior norms which correspond to notable equilibria derived in the theory. This results in asymmetric outcomes with a majority of high contributors less than fully reimbursing the global losses and a significant minority of low contributors less than fully defecting. Such behavioral heterogeneity may be attributed to risk attitudes (risk tolerance vs risk aversion) which is natural in a risky context.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Lévy-Garboua & Claude Montmarquette & Jonathan Vaksmann & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2017. "Voluntary Contributions to a Mutual Insurance Pool," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01476440, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-01476440
    DOI: 10.1111/jpet.12181
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01476440
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2011. "Heterogeneity and Tests of Risk Sharing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(5), pages 925-958.
    2. Francesca Barigozzi & Renaud Bourlès & Dominique Henriet & Giuseppe Pignataro, 2017. "Pool size and the sustainability of optimal risk-sharing agreements," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 82(2), pages 273-303, February.
    3. Martin Sefton & Robert Shupp & James M. Walker, 2007. "The Effect Of Rewards And Sanctions In Provision Of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 671-690, October.
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    5. Pierre Picard, 2014. "Participating Insurance Contracts and the Rothschild-Stiglitz Equilibrium Puzzle," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 39(2), pages 153-175, September.
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    7. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
    8. Renaud Bourlès & Dominique Henriet, 2012. "Risk-sharing Contracts with Asymmetric Information," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 37(1), pages 27-56, March.
    9. Smith, Bruce D & Stutzer, Michael J, 1990. "Adverse Selection, Aggregate Uncertainty, and the Role for Mutual Insurance Contracts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(4), pages 493-510, October.
    10. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-976, October.
    11. Smith, Bruce D & Stutzer, Michael, 1995. "A Theory of Mutual Formation and Moral Hazard with Evidence from the History of the Insurance Industry," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(2), pages 545-577.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    mutual-aid games;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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