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Rate Regulation and the Industrial Organization of Automobile Insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Susan J. Suponcic
  • Sharon Tennyson

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of rate regulation on the structure of insurance markets for private passenger automobile insurance. The paper argues that states' restrictions on automobile insurers' rates of return will distort the structure of the market by distorting insurers' entry and output decisions. Cross-sectional analysis of the numbers of firms and the relative market shares of firms of different organizational characteristics supports this argument, especially for those states which impose the most stringent regulation. The analysis suggests that increased regulatory stringency lowers the total number of firms selling in the market, and lowers the number of low cost and national firms in the market. The market shares of these latter two groups of firms are also significantly lowered by increased regulatory stringency. These findings hold even after controlling for other factors which may influence the relative prevalence of these firms in the market, and are robust to the assumption that regulatory stringency in a state is itself partially determined by the number and market shares of large, low cost producers.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan J. Suponcic & Sharon Tennyson, 1995. "Rate Regulation and the Industrial Organization of Automobile Insurance," NBER Working Papers 5275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5275
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5275.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. David Cummins & Sharon Tennyson, 1992. "Controlling Automobile Insurance Costs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 95-115, Spring.
    2. Frech, H E, III & Samprone, Joseph C, Jr, 1980. "The Welfare Loss of Excess Nonprice Competition: The Case of Property-Liability Insurance Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 429-440, October.
    3. Marvel, Howard P, 1982. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-25, April.
    4. Ippolito, Richard A, 1979. "The Effects of Price Regulation in the Automobile Insurance Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 55-89, April.
    5. Paul L. Joskow, 1973. "Cartels, Competition and Regulation in the Property-Liability Insurance Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(2), pages 375-427, Autumn.
    6. Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1988. "Ownership Structure across Lines of Property-Casualty Insurance," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 351-378, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tennyson, Sharon, 1997. "Economic institutions and individual ethics: A study of consumer attitudes toward insurance fraud," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 247-265, February.
    2. Susan J. Suponcic & Sharon Tennyson, 1998. "Rate Regulation and the Industrial Organization of Automobile Insurance," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Property-Casualty Insurance, pages 113-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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