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Natural Catastrophe Insurance: When Should the Government Intervene?

Listed author(s):
  • Arthur Charpentier

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - UNICAEN - Université Caen Normandie - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Benoît Le Maux

    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - UNICAEN - Université Caen Normandie - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

This paper develops a theoretical framework for analyzing the decision to provide or buy insurance against the risk of natural catastrophes. In contrast to conventional models of insurance, the insurer has a non-zero probability of insolvency which depends on the distribution of the risks, the premium rate, and the amount of capital in the company. When the insurer is insolvent, each loss reduces the indemnity available to the victims, thus generating negative pecuniary externalities. Our model shows that government-provided insurance will be more attractive in terms of expected utility, as it allows these negative pecuniary externalities to be spread equally among policyholders. However, when heterogeneous risks are introduced, a government program may be less attractive in safer areas, which could yield inefficiency if insurance ratings are not chosen appropriately.

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File URL: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00536925v2/document
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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00536925.

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Date of creation: 09 Nov 2010
Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00536925
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00536925v2
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  1. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié & François Salanié, 2006. "Asymmetric information in insurance: general testable implications," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 783-798, December.
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  3. Dwight M. Jaffee & Thomas Russell, 1996. "Catastrophe Insurance, Capital Markets and Uninsurable Risks," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-12, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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  10. Doherty, Neil A & Garven, James R, 1986. " Price Regulation in Property-Liability Insurance: A Contingent-Claims Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(5), pages 1031-1050, December.
  11. Johnson, Herb & Stulz, Rene, 1987. " The Pricing of Options with Default Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 267-280, June.
  12. Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
  13. Timothy Goodspeed & Andrew Haughwout, 2012. "On the optimal design of disaster insurance in a federation," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-27, March.
  14. Epermanis, Karen & Harrington, Scott E., 2006. "Market Discipline in Property/Casualty Insurance: Evidence from Premium Growth Surrounding Changes in Financial Strength Ratings," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 1515-1544, September.
  15. Carolyn Kousky & Roger Cooke, 2012. "Explaining the Failure to Insure Catastrophic Risks," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 37(2), pages 206-227, April.
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  18. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:783-798 is not listed on IDEAS
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