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Bargaining power and efficiency in insurance contracts

Author

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  • John Quiggin

    () (Risk & Sustainable Management Group, School of Economics, University of Queensland)

  • Robert G. Chambers

    () (Dept of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, College Park)

Abstract

Insurance contracts are frequently modelled as principal--agent relationships. Although it is commonly assumed that the principal, in this case the insurer, has complete freedom to design the contract, the problem formulation in much of the principal--agent literature presumes that the contract is constrained-Pareto-efficient. In the present paper, we consider the implications of a richer specification of the choices available to clients. In particular, we consider the entire spectrum of possible power differentials in the contracting relationship between insurers and clients. Our central result is that the agent can exploit information asymmetries to offset the bargaining power of the insurer, but that this process is socially costly.

Suggested Citation

  • John Quiggin & Robert G. Chambers, 2007. "Bargaining power and efficiency in insurance contracts," Risk & Uncertainty Working Papers WP5R07, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsm:riskun:r07_5
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    File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/rsmg/WP/WPR07_5.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Quiggin, John, 2002. "Risk and Self-Protection: A State-Contingent View," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 133-145, September.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    3. Quiggin, John & Chambers, Robert G., 1998. "A state-contingent production approach to principal-agent problems with an application to point-source pollution control," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 441-472, December.
    4. Lewis, Tracy & Nickerson, David, 1989. "Self-insurance against natural disasters," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 209-223, May.
    5. David M. G. Newbery, 1977. "Risk Sharing, Sharecropping and Uncertain Labour Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 585-594.
    6. 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..
    7. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    8. Viaene, Stijn & Veugelers, Reinhilde & Dedene, Guido, 2002. "Insurance bargaining under risk aversion," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 245-259, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Boonen, Tim J., 2016. "Nash equilibria of Over-The-Counter bargaining for insurance risk redistributions: The role of a regulator," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(3), pages 955-965.
    2. Boonen, Tim J. & De Waegenaere, Anja & Norde, Henk, 2017. "Redistribution of longevity risk: The effect of heterogeneous mortality beliefs," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 175-188.
    3. Huang, Rachel J. & Huang, Yi-Chieh & Tzeng, Larry Y., 2013. "Insurance bargaining under ambiguity," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 812-820.
    4. repec:eee:ejores:v:266:y:2018:i:3:p:1175-1188 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. J Fran├žois Outreville, 2010. "The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review 2009: In Quest of Behavioural Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 35(3), pages 484-497, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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