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Monopoly Insurance with Endogenous Information

Author

Listed:
  • Johan N.M. Lagerlöf

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)

  • Christoph Schotmüller

    (Department of Economics, Tilburg University)

Abstract

We study a monopoly insurance model with endogenous information acquisition. Through a continuous effort choice, consumers can determine the precision of a privately observed signal that is informative about their accident risk. The equilibrium effort is, depending on parameter values, either zero (implying symmetric information) or positive (implying privately informed consumers). Regardless of the nature of the equilibrium, all offered contracts, also at the top, involve underinsurance. The reason is that underinsurance at the top discourages information gathering. We identify a sorting effect that explains why the insurer wants to discourage information acquisition. Moreover, a public policy that decreases the information gathering costs can hurt both parties. Lower information gathering costs can harm consumers because the insurer adjusts the optimal contract menu in an unfavorable manner.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan N.M. Lagerlöf & Christoph Schotmüller, 2013. "Monopoly Insurance with Endogenous Information," Discussion Papers 13-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1315
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bardey, David & De Donder, Philippe, 2013. "Genetic testing with primary prevention and moral hazard," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 768-779.
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    3. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1998. "Contracts and Productive Information Gathering," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 174-193, November.
    4. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad, 1992. "Gathering Information before Signing a Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 566-578, June.
    5. Szalay, Dezsö, 2009. "Contracts with endogenous information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 586-625, March.
    6. Nicola Persico, 2000. "Information Acquisition in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 135-148, January.
    7. Lagerlöf, Johan N. M. & Schottmüller, Christoph, 2013. "Facilitating Consumer Learning in Insurance Markets—What Are the Welfare Effects?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9753, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Leemore S. Dafny, 2010. "Are Health Insurance Markets Competitive?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1399-1431, September.
    9. Shi, Xianwen, 2012. "Optimal auctions with information acquisition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 666-686.
    10. Doherty, Neil A. & Thistle, Paul D., 1996. "Adverse selection with endogenous information in insurance markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 83-102, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    asymmetric information; information acquisition; insurance; screening; adverse selection;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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