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Selection in Insurance Markets: Theory and Empirics in Pictures

  • Liran Einav
  • Amy Finkelstein

We present a graphical framework for analyzing both theoretical and empirical work on selection in insurance markets. We begin by using this framework to review the "textbook" adverse selection environment and its implications for insurance allocation, social welfare, and public policy. We then discuss several important extensions to this classical treatment that are necessitated by important real world features of insurance markets and which can be easily incorporated in the basic framework. Finally, we use the same graphical approach to discuss the intuition behind recently developed empirical methods for testing for the existence of selection and examining its welfare consequences. We conclude by discussing some important issues that are not well-handled by this framework and which, perhaps not unrelatedly, have been little addressed by the existing empirical work.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16723.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16723.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Publication status: published as “Selection in Insurance Markets: Theory and Empirics in Pictures,” with Amy Finkelstein, Journal of Economics Perspectives 25(1), 1 15 - 138 , Winter 2011 .
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16723
Note: AG HC IO PE
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  1. Alma Cohen & Peter Siegelman, 2010. "Testing for Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 39-84.
  2. Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2006. "Multiple Dimensions of Private Information: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 938-958, September.
  3. Joseph P. Newhouse, 2004. "Pricing the Priceless: A Health Care Conundrum," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640589, June.
  4. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:783-798 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. De Meza, D. & Webb, D.C., 2000. "Advantageous Selection in Insurance Market," Discussion Papers 0007, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  6. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  7. Alma Cohen & Liran Einav, 2007. "Estimating Risk Preferences from Deductible Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 745-788, June.
  8. Hanming Fang & Michael P. Keane & Dan Silverman, 2008. "Sources of Advantageous Selection: Evidence from the Medigap Insurance Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 303-350, 04.
  9. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Mark R. Cullen, 2008. "Estimating Welfare in Insurance Markets Using Variation in Prices," NBER Working Papers 14414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié & François Salanié, 2006. "Asymmetric information in insurance: general testable implications," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 783-798, December.
  11. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Jonathan Levin, 2009. "Beyond Testing: Empirical Models of Insurance Markets," NBER Working Papers 15241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David M. Cutler & Sarah J. Reber, 1998. "Paying For Health Insurance: The Trade-Off Between Competition And Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 433-466, May.
  13. Friedman, Benjamin M & Warshawsky, Mark J, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-54, February.
  14. Hemenway, David, 1990. "Propitious Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1063-69, November.
  15. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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