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Collusion in a One-Period Insurance Market with Adverse Selection

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Abstract

We show how collusive outcomes may occur in equilibrium in a one-period competitive insurance market characterized by adverse selection. We build on the Inderst and Wambach (2001) model --this shows that the Rothschild and Stiglitz separating equilibrium always exists when there are capacity constraints-- and we assume that insurees must pay a minimum premium, which is a common feature in many health systems. In this setup we show that there is a range of equilibria, from the zero profit one in which low-risks implicitly subsidize high risks, to one where firms obtain profits with both types of consumers. Moreover, we show that rents only partially dissipate if we assume free entry. Along these equilibria, high risks always obtain full insurance while the low risks coverage decreases as the firms' profits increase. Recently the Chilean antitrust authority (Fiscalía Nacional Económica) accused five of the largest private health insurers of collusion after they had reduced the coverage offered to their customers and as a result significantly raised their profits. Our model is consistent with this accusation

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Alegria & Manuel Willington, 2007. "Collusion in a One-Period Insurance Market with Adverse Selection," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv196, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  • Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv196
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    Cited by:

    1. Willington, Manuel & Navarro, Lucas, 2015. "Work hours regulation in a search economy with adverse selection," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 46-48.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adverse selection; collusion; insurance; capacity constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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