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Self-Insurance and Self-Protection as Public Goods

  • Lohse, Tim
  • Julio R. Robledo
  • Ulrich Schmidt

Many public goods like dams, fire departments, and lighthouses do not provide direct utility but act more as insurance devices against floods, fire, and shipwreck. They either diminish the probability or the size of the loss. We extend the public good model with this insurance aspect and generalize Samuelson's efficient allocation rule when self-insurance and self-protection expenditures are pure public goods. Some comparative static results with respect to changes in income and risk behavior are derived. As some of the sketched risks are insurable while some others are not, we introduce further the possibility of risk coverage by private market insurance. We analyze the interaction of such an insurance with the public good level, both for efficient provision and for private provision equilibria. It turns out that the levels of self-insurance and self-protection decrease when being privately provided. Moreover, it appears a strategic substitutability between the public good and market insurance which leads to an additional decline of the provision levels.

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Paper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) with number dp-354.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-354
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  1. DACHRAOUI, Kaïs & DIONNE, Georges & EECKHOUDT, Louis & GODFROID, Philippe, . "Comparative mixed risk aversion: definition and application to self-protection and willingness to pay," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1835, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  3. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-48, July-Aug..
  4. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Yohannes, Yisehac & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2009. "Natural disasters, self-Insurance, and human capital investment: Evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Malawi," IFPRI discussion papers 881, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley & Todd Sandler, 1999. "Equilibrium Existence and Uniqueness in Public Good Models: An Elementary Proof via Contraction," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 99/02, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  6. TOSHIHIRO IHORI & MARTIN C. McGUIRE, 2007. "Collective Risk Control and Group Security: The Unexpected Consequences of Differential Risk Aversion," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(2), pages 231-263, 04.
  7. Shavell, Steven, 1979. "On Moral Hazard and Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 541-62, November.
  8. Greg Kaplan & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "How Much Consumption Insurance beyond Self-Insurance?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 53-87, October.
  9. Wolfgang Buchholz & Wolfgang Peters, 2001. "The overprovision anomaly of private public good supply," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 63-78, February.
  10. Kunreuther, Howard & Heal, Geoffrey, 2003. " Interdependent Security," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 231-49, March-May.
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  12. Cornes, Richard & Sandler, Todd, 1984. "Easy Riders, Joint Production, and Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(375), pages 580-98, September.
  13. DIONNE, George & EECKHOUDT, Louis, . "Self-insurance, self-protection and increased risk aversion," CORE Discussion Papers RP -623, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Gradstein, M. & Nitzan, S. & Slutsky, S., 1990. "Private Provision Of Public Goods Under Price Uncertainty," Papers 90-2, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  15. Darius Lakdawalla & George Zanjani, 2002. "Insurance, Self-Protection, and the Economics of Terrorism," NBER Working Papers 9215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Austen-Smith, David, 1980. "Individual contribution to public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 359-361.
  17. Alexander Muermann & Howard Kunreuther, 2008. "Self-protection and insurance with interdependencies," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 103-123, April.
  18. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Toshihiro Ihori & Martin McGuire, 2010. "National self-insurance and self-protection against adversity: bureaucratic management of security and moral hazard," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 103-122, April.
  20. McGuire, Martin C & Pratt, John & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1991. " Paying to Improve Your Chances: Gambling or Insurance?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 329-38, December.
  21. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
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