Wealth Effects on Demand for Insurance
A standard result states that under decreasing absolute risk aversion the indifference premium of the insured is a decreasing function of wealth. This has been interpreted to mean that insurance is an inferior good, which has been considered as a puzzle in insurance theory, in particular since the result does not seem to explain observed behavior in insurance markets. We reformulate the standard model of risk sharing to incorporate the amount invested in the insurable asset. From this we identify two wealth effects, one direct and one indirect. The direct one is explained by the classical result, and is negative when risk aversion is decreasing. The indirect effect is positive when the insurable asset is a normal good, and we find conditions when insurance is a normal good, and when it is not. The analysis is extended to Pareto optimal risk sharing, where we also analyze the joint problem of finding an optimal amount in the insurable asset, as well as a Pareto optimal insurance contract. In this latter case insurance turns out to be inelastic to changes in wealth of the insurance customer, provided the insurer’s reserves are held fixed, but a normal good if this assumption is relaxed.
|Date of creation:||13 Feb 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +47 55 95 92 93
Fax: +47 55 95 96 50
Web page: http://www.nhh.no/en/research-faculty/department-of-business-and-management-science.aspx
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Briys, E. & Dionne, G. & Eeckhoudt, L., 1988.
"More On Insurance As A Giffen Good,"
Cahiers de recherche
8813, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Dionne, Georges & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 1984.
"Insurance and saving: some further results,"
Insurance: Mathematics and Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 101-110, April.
- Szpiro, George G, 1986. "Measuring Risk Aversion: An Alternative Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 156-59, February.
- Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
- Raviv, Artur, 1979. "The Design of an Optimal Insurance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 84-96, March.
- Hoy, Michael & Robson, Arthur J., 1981. "Insurance as a Giffen good," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 47-51.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2007_006. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stein Fossen)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.