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Insurance Demand under Prospect Theory:A Graphical Analysis

  • Ulrich Schmidt

This paper analyzes insurance demand under prospect theory in a simple model with two states of the world and fair insurance contracts. We argue that two different reference points are reasonable in this framework, state-dependent initial wealth or final wealth after buying full insurance. Applying the value function of Tversky and Kahneman (1992), we find that for both reference points subjects will either demand full insurance or no insurance at all. Moreover, this decision depends on the probability of the loss: the higher the probability of the loss, the higher is the propensity to take up insurance. This result can explain empirical evidence which has shown that people are unwilling to insure rare losses at subsidized premiums and at the same time take-up insurance for moderate risks at highly loaded premiums

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File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/insurance-demand-under-prospect-theory-a-graphical-analysis/KWP1764.pdf
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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1764.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1764
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  1. John C. Hershey & Paul J. H. Schoemaker, 1985. "Probability Versus Certainty Equivalence Methods in Utility Measurement: Are they Equivalent?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(10), pages 1213-1231, October.
  2. Ulrich Schmidt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2008. "Third-generation prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 203-223, June.
  3. Wakker, P.P. & Thaler, R.H. & Tversky, A., 1997. "Probabilistic insurance," Discussion Paper 1997-35, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Kunreuther, Howard & Pauly, Mark, 2006. "Insurance Decision-Making and Market Behavior," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 1(2), pages 63-127, April.
  5. Susan K. Laury & Melayne Morgan McInnes & J. Todd Swarthout, 2008. "Insurance Purchase for Low-Probability Losses," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2008-03, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Oct 2008.
  6. Philip Ganderton & David Brookshire & Michael McKee & Steve Stewart & Hale Thurston, 2000. "Buying Insurance for Disaster-Type Risks: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 271-289, May.
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