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Adverse Selection in Insurance Contracting

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  • Georges Dionne
  • Nathalie Fombaron
  • Neil Doherty

Abstract

In this survey we present some of the more significant results in the literature on adverse selection in insurance markets. Sections 1 and 2 introduce the subject and Section 3 discusses the monopoly model developed by Stiglitz (1977) for the case of single-period contracts extended by many authors to the multi-period case. The introduction of multi-period contracts raises many issues that are discussed in detail; time horizon, discounting, commitment of the parties, contract renegotiation and accidents underreporting. Section 4 covers the literature on competitive contracts. The analysis is more complicated because insurance companies must take into account competitive pressures when they set incentive contracts. As pointed out by Rothschild and Stiglitz (1976), there is not necessarily a Cournot-Nash equilibrium in the presence of adverse selection. However, market equilibrium can be sustained when principals anticipate competitive reactions to their behavior or when they adopt strategies that differ from the pure Nash strategy. Multi-period contracting is discussed. We show that different predictions on the evolution of insurer profits over time can be obtained from different assumptions concerning the sharing of information between insurers about individual's choice of contracts and accident experience. The roles of commitment and renegotiation between the parties to the contract are important. Section 5 introduces models that consider moral hazard and adverse selection simultaneously and Section 6 covers adverse selection when people can choose their risk status. Section 7 discusses many extensions to the basic models such as risk categorization, multidimensional adverse selection, symmetric imperfect information, reversed or double-sided adverse selection, principals more informed than agents, uberrima fides and participating contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Georges Dionne & Nathalie Fombaron & Neil Doherty, 2012. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Contracting," Cahiers de recherche 1231, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1231
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    Cited by:

    1. Johan N. M. Lagerlöf & Christoph Schottmüller, 2013. "Facilitating Consumer Learning in Insurance Markets - What Are the Welfare Effects?," Discussion Papers 13-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    2. Wolter H.J. Hassink & Pierre Koning & Wim Zwinkels, 2015. "Employers Opting Out of Public Disability Insurance: Selection or Incentive Effects?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-081/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Georges Dionne, 2012. "The Empirical Measure of Information Problems with Emphasis on Insurance Fraud and Dynamic Data," Cahiers de recherche 1233, CIRPEE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adverse selection; insurance markets; monopoly; competitive contracts; self-selection mechanisms; single-period contracts; multi-period contracts; commitment; contract renegotiation; accident underreporting; risk categorization; participating contracts.;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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