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Existence of an Asymmetric Information Structure in Gene Diagnosis -the Mechanism by which Genetic Discrimination is Induced-


  • Nobuyuki Soga

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)


In this paper, equilibrium of the life/medical insurance market is analyzed under conditions where insurers demands that an insurant undergo genetic testing, on the assumption that the Human Genome Project will allow direct insight into the precise manner of operation of individual genes. Also, equilibrium in this instance is studied with attention given to the existence of an asymmetric structure of information between an insurant and insurers, even if the insurers are able to propose a contract based on knowledge of the results of genetic testing. The model described in this paper led to the conclusion that equilibrium can exist in any instance. In this paper, I also show that there exists equilibrium totally opposite to that shown as a result of adverse selection depending on change in the ratio of individuals undergoing genetic testing, and on the basis of such equilibrium I discuss the mechanism which causes "genetic discrimination" which is increasingly being regarded as a potential problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Nobuyuki Soga, 2000. "Existence of an Asymmetric Information Structure in Gene Diagnosis -the Mechanism by which Genetic Discrimination is Induced-," Discussion Paper Series 112, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:112

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    More about this item


    Genetic Testing; Genetic Discrimination; Adverse Selection; Risk Selection; Insurance Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives


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