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Price Elasticity of Demand for Term Life Insurance and Adverse Selection

Author

Listed:
  • Mark V. Pauly
  • Kate H. Withers
  • Krupa Subramanian-Viswana
  • Jean Lemaire
  • John C. Hershey

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical estimate of price' and risk' elasticities of demand for term life insurance for those who purchase some insurance. It finds that the elasticity with respect to changes in premiums is generally higher than the elasticity with respect to changes in risk. It also finds that the elasticity, in the range of -0.3 to -0.5, is sufficiently low that adverse selection in term life insurance is unlikely to lead to a death spiral and may not even lead to measured effects of adverse selection on total purchases.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark V. Pauly & Kate H. Withers & Krupa Subramanian-Viswana & Jean Lemaire & John C. Hershey, 2003. "Price Elasticity of Demand for Term Life Insurance and Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 9925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9925
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Babbel, David F, 1985. " The Price Elasticity of Demand for Whole Life Insurance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(1), pages 225-239, March.
    2. Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive?," NBER Working Papers 7996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rogers, Richard G. & Powell-Griner, Eve, 1991. "Life expectancies of cigarette smokers and nonsmokers in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1151-1159, January.
    4. Cardon, James H & Hendel, Igal, 2001. "Asymmetric Information in Health Insurance: Evidence from the National Medical Expenditure Survey," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 408-427, Autumn.
    5. Tomas Philipson & John Cawley, 1999. "An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade in Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 827-846, September.
    6. Hausman, Jerry A, 1985. "The Econometrics of Nonlinear Budget Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1255-1282, November.
    7. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1980. "Discontinuous Budget Constraints and Estimation: The Demand for Housing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 75-96.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. R. Guy Thomas, 2008. "Loss Coverage as a Public Policy Objective for Risk Classification Schemes," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 997-1018.
    2. Shawn Cole & Xavier Gine & Jeremy Tobacman & Petia Topalova & Robert Townsend & James Vickery, 2013. "Barriers to Household Risk Management: Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 104-135, January.
    3. Oster, Emily & Shoulson, Ira & Quaid, Kimberly & Dorsey, E. Ray, 2010. "Genetic adverse selection: Evidence from long-term care insurance and Huntington disease," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1041-1050, December.
    4. Michiel Bijlsma & Machiel van Dijk & Marc Pomp & Cora Zonderland, 2005. "Competition in markets for life insurance," CPB Document 96, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:eee:insuma:v:79:y:2018:i:c:p:15-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Grönqvist, Erik, 2004. "Does Adverse Selection Matter? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 575, Stockholm School of Economics.
    8. Vékás, Péter & Banyár, József, 2016. "A pénzügyi termékek ára
      [The price of financial products]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 380-406.
    9. Michael Hoy & Julia Witt, 2007. "Welfare Effects of Banning Genetic Information in the Life Insurance Market: The Case of BRCA1/2 Genes," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(3), pages 523-546.
    10. Krupa S. Viswanathan & Jean Lemaire & Kate Withers & Katrina Armstrong & Agnieszka Baumritter & John C. Hershey & Mark V. Pauly & David A. Asch, 2007. "Adverse Selection in Term Life Insurance Purchasing due to the BRCA1/2 Genetic Test and Elastic Demand," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(1), pages 65-86.
    11. Harris, Timothy & Yelowitz, Aaron, 2015. "Nudging Life Insurance Holdings in the Workplace," MPRA Paper 67150, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. repec:gam:jlawss:v:7:y:2018:i:2:p:13-:d:141165 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Deborah Wilson, 2005. "Acquisition and disclosure of genetic information under alternative policy regimes," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/118, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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