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Self-Protection and Insurance with Interdependencies

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander Muermann
  • Howard Kunreuther

Abstract

We study optimal investment in self-protection of insured individuals when they face interdependencies in the form of potential contamination from others. If individuals cannot coordinate their actions, then the positive externality of investing in self-protection implies that, in equilibrium, individuals underinvest in self-protection. Limiting insurance coverage through deductibles can partially internalize this externality and thereby improve individual and social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Muermann & Howard Kunreuther, 2007. "Self-Protection and Insurance with Interdependencies," NBER Working Papers 12827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12827
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12827.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 43-77.
    2. Shavell, Steven, 1991. "Individual precautions to prevent theft: Private versus socially optimal behavior," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 123-132, September.
    3. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-648, July-Aug..
    4. Harris Schlesinger & Emilio Venezian, 1986. "Insurance Markets with Loss-Prevention Activity: Profits, Market Structure, and Consumer Welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 227-238, Summer.
    5. Kunreuther, Howard & Heal, Geoffrey, 2003. "Interdependent Security," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 231-249, March-May.
    6. Steven Shavell, 1990. "Individual Precautions to Prevent Theft: Private Versus Socially OptimalBehavior," NBER Working Papers 3560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Muermann & Howard Kunreuther, 2008. "Self-protection and insurance with interdependencies," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 103-123, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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