IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/11164.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Technology, Monopoly, and the Decline of the Viatical Settlements Industry

Author

Listed:
  • Neeraj Sood
  • Abby Alpert
  • Jay Bhattacharya

Abstract

The viatical settlement industry provides an opportunity for terminally-ill consumers, typically HIV patients, to exploit a previously untapped source of equity in existing life insurance contracts to finance consumption and medical expenses. The 1996 introduction and dissemination of effecive anti-HIV medication reduced AIDS mortality, but also reduced viatical settlement prices, even holding fixed changes in life expectancy. Using Freedom of Information Act requests to state insurance regulatory agencies, we have assembled a unique dataset of over twelve thousand viatical transactions from firms licensed in states that regulate viatical settlement markets. We distinguish two explanations for falling prices---an increase in market power, and a change in market expectations about the likelihood of further improvements in HIV care. We find that both explanations have contributed to diminishing settlement prices over the last decade, but increased market power has been the more important driver in the most recent years. Our estimates imply that the increase in market power of firms reduced the value of life insurance holdings of HIV persons by about $1.0 billion.

Suggested Citation

  • Neeraj Sood & Abby Alpert & Jay Bhattacharya, 2005. "Technology, Monopoly, and the Decline of the Viatical Settlements Industry," NBER Working Papers 11164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11164
    Note: HC HE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11164.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mar Jori & Antonio Alegre & Carmen Ribas, 2011. "Deciding the sale of a life policy in the viatical market: Implications on individual welfare," Working Papers in Economics 256, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11164. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.