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When prices hardly matter: Incomplete insurance contracts and markets for repair goods

  • Nell, Martin
  • Richter, Andreas
  • Schiller, Jörg

This paper looks at markets characterized by the fact that the demand side is insured. In these markets a consumer purchases a good to compensate consequen¬ces of unfavorable events, such as an accident or an illness. Insurance policies in most lines of insurance base indemnity on the insured’s actual expenses, i.e., the insured would be partially or completely reimbursed when purchasing certain goods. In this setting we discuss the interaction between insurance and repair markets by focusing, on the one hand, upon the development of prices and the structure of markets with insured consumers, and, on the other hand, the resulting backlash on optimal insurance contracting. We show that even in the absence of ex post moral hazard the extension of insurance coverage will lead to an increase in prices as well as to a socially undesirable increase in the number of repair service suppliers, if repair markets are imperfect.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Munich School of Management in its series Discussion Papers in Business Administration with number 1187.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lmu:msmdpa:1187
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  8. Martin Gaynor & Deborah Haas-Wilson & William B. Vogt, 1998. "Are Invisible Hands Good Hands? Moral Hazard, Competition, and the Second Best in Health Care Markets," NBER Working Papers 6865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas VON UNGERN-STERNBERG, 1995. "The Limits of Competition : Housing Insurance in Switzerland," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9511, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  10. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
  11. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
  12. Amy Finkelstein, 2007. "The Aggregate Effects of Health Insurance: Evidence from the Introduction of Medicare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 1-37, 02.
  13. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 1994. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1085-1124, November.
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  17. Feldstein, Martin S, 1973. "The Welfare Loss of Excess Health Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 251-80, Part I, M.
  18. Berthold U. Wigger & Markus Anlauf, 2007. "Do Consumers Purchase Too Much Health Insurance? The Role of Market Power in Health-Care Markets," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(3), pages 547-561, 06.
  19. Feldstein, Martin S, 1970. "The Rising Price of Physicians' Services," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(2), pages 121-33, May.
  20. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  21. Zweifel, Peter & Crivelli, Luca, 1996. "Price Regulation of Drugs: Lessons from Germany," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 257-73, November.
  22. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Do Pharmaceutical Prices Respond to Potential Patient Out-of-Pocket Expenses?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 469-487, Autumn.
  23. Feldstein, Martin S, 1971. "Hospital Cost Inflation: A Study of Nonprofit Price Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 853-72, December.
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  25. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Symmetric equilibrium existence and optimality in differentiated product markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 178-194, February.
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