IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/str/wpaper/0921.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Harmful competition in the insurance markets

Author

Listed:
  • Giuseppe De Feo

    () (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • Jean Hindriks

    () (Department of Economics and CORE, Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium)

Abstract

There is a general presumption that competition is a good thing. In this paper we show that competition in the insurance markets can be bad and that adverse selection is in general worse under competition than under monopoly. The reason is that monopoly can exploit its market power to relax incentive constraints by cross-subsidization between different risk types. Cream-skimming behavior, on the contrary, prevents competitive firms from using implicit transfers. In effect monopoly is shown to provide better coverage to those buying insurance but at the cost of limiting participation to insurance. Performing simulation for different distributions of risk, we find that monopoly in general performs (much) better than competition in terms of the realization of the gains from trade across all traders in equilibrium. However, most of the surplus is retained by the firm and, as a result, most individuals prefer competitive markets notwithstanding their performance is generally poorer than monopoly.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe De Feo & Jean Hindriks, 2009. "Harmful competition in the insurance markets," Working Papers 0921, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:0921
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/1newwebsite/departmentsubject/economics/research/researchdiscussionpapers/2009/09-21.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié & François Salanié, 2007. "Screening risk-averse agents under moral hazard: single-crossing and the CARA case," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 30(1), pages 151-169, January.
    2. Johannes Spinnewijn, 2013. "Insurance and Perceptions: How to Screen Optimists and Pessimists," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123, pages 606-633, June.
    3. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2014. "A Game Theoretic Foundation Of Competitive Equilibria With Adverse Selection," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 399-422, May.
    4. Giuseppe, DE FEO & Jean, HINDRIKS, 2005. "Efficiency of Competition in Insurance Markets with Adverse Selection," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005042, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    5. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1977. "Monopoly, Non-linear Pricing and Imperfect Information: The Insurance Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 407-430.
    6. Andrea Attar & Thomas Mariotti & François Salanié, 2011. "Nonexclusive Competition in the Market for Lemons," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(6), pages 1869-1918, November.
    7. Hindriks, Jean & De Donder, Philippe, 2003. "The politics of redistributive social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2639-2660, December.
    8. Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
    9. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    10. Crocker, Keith J. & Snow, Arthur, 1985. "The efficiency of competitive equilibria in insurance markets with asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 207-219, March.
    11. Riley, John G, 1979. "Informational Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 331-359, March.
    12. Philippe Donder & Jean Hindriks, 2009. "Adverse selection, moral hazard and propitious selection," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 73-86, February.
    13. de Meza, David & Webb, David C, 2001. "Advantageous Selection in Insurance Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 249-262, Summer.
    14. Jaffee, Dwight & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1990. "Credit rationing," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 837-888, Elsevier.
    15. Hellwig, Martin, 1987. "Some recent developments in the theory of competition in markets with adverse selection ," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 319-325.
    16. Engers, Maxim & Fernandez, Luis F, 1987. "Market Equilibrium with Hidden Knowledge and Self-selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 425-439, March.
    17. Samuelson, William F, 1984. "Bargaining under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 995-1005, July.
    18. Ferdinand A. von Siemens, 2012. "Social Preferences, Sorting, and Competition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 780-807, September.
    19. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 2006. "Efficient Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 485-516, June.
    20. Wanda Mimra & Achim Wambach, 2011. "A Game-Theoretic Foundation for the Wilson Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets with Adverse Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 3412, CESifo.
    21. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1990. "Macroeconomic Models with Equity and Credit Rationing," NBER Chapters, in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 15-42, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
    23. Alvaro Sandroni & Francesco Squintani, 2007. "Overconfidence, Insurance, and Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1994-2004, December.
    24. Hajime Miyazaki, 1977. "The Rat Race and Internal Labor Markets," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 394-418, Autumn.
    25. Rustichini, Aldo & Satterthwaite, Mark A & Williams, Steven R, 1994. "Convergence to Efficiency in a Simple Market with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1041-1063, September.
    26. John G. Riley, 2001. "Silver Signals: Twenty-Five Years of Screening and Signaling," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 432-478, June.
    27. Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos, 2002. "Competitive Pooling: Rothschild-Stiglitz Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1529-1570.
    28. Spence, Michael, 1978. "Product differentiation and performance in insurance markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 427-447, December.
    29. Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984. "Pareto Optima and Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 21-45, January.
    30. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    31. Mailath, George J, 1987. "Incentive Compatibility in Signaling Games with a Continuum of Types," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1349-1365, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Less competition is good for insurance
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-05-19 19:14:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jenny Simon, 2015. "Optimal Debt Bias in Corporate Income Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 5561, CESifo.
    2. Alshammari, Ahmad Alrazni & Syed Jaafar Alhabshi, Syed Musa bin & Saiti, Buerhan, 2019. "The impact of competition on cost efficiency of insurance and takaful sectors: Evidence from GCC markets based on the Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 410-427.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Wanda Mimra & Achim Wambach, 2019. "Contract withdrawals and equilibrium in competitive markets with adverse selection," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 67(4), pages 875-907, June.
    2. Dosis, Anastasios, 2019. "Optimal ex post risk adjustment in markets with adverse selection," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 52-59.
    3. Dosis, Anastasios, 2018. "On signalling and screening in markets with asymmetric information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 140-149.
    4. Wanda Mimra & Achim Wambach, 2014. "New Developments in the Theory of Adverse Selection in Competitive Insurance," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 39(2), pages 136-152, September.
    5. Giuseppe, DE FEO & Jean, HINDRIKS, 2005. "Efficiency of Competition in Insurance Markets with Adverse Selection," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005042, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    6. Wanda Mimra & Achim Wambach, 2011. "A Game-Theoretic Foundation for the Wilson Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets with Adverse Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 3412, CESifo.
    7. Anastasios Dosis, 2016. "An Efficient Mechanism for Competitive Markets with Adverse Selection," Working Papers hal-01282772, HAL.
    8. Li, Anqi & Xing, Yiqing, 2020. "Intermediated implementation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    9. Diasakos, Theodoros M. & Koufopoulos, Kostas, 2018. "(Neutrally) Optimal Mechanism under Adverse Selection: The canonical insurance problem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 159-186.
    10. Joseph E. Stiglitz & Jungyoll Yun & Andrew Kosenko, 2020. "Bilateral Information Disclosure in Adverse Selection Markets with Nonexclusive Competition," NBER Working Papers 27041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Georges Dionne & Casey Rothschild, 2014. "Economic Effects of Risk Classification Bans," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 39(2), pages 184-221, September.
    12. Henri Loubergé, 1998. "Risk and Insurance Economics 25 Years After," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 23(4), pages 540-567, October.
    13. Dionne, G. & Doherty, N., 1991. "Adverse Selection In Insurance Markets: A Selective Survey," Cahiers de recherche 9105, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    14. von Siemens, Ferdinand A. & Kosfeld, Michael, 2014. "Team production in competitive labor markets with adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 181-198.
    15. Davoodalhosseini, Seyed Mohammadreza, 2019. "Constrained efficiency with adverse selection and directed search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 568-593.
    16. Dosis, Anastasios, 2017. "Nash equilibrium in competitive insurance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 5-8.
    17. Dosis, Anastasios, 2016. "Investment, Adverse Selection and Optimal Redistributive Taxation," ESSEC Working Papers WP1605, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
    18. Gemmo, Irina & Kubitza, Christian & Rothschild, Casey G., 2018. "The existence of the Miyazaki-Wilson-Spence equilibrium with continuous type distributions," ICIR Working Paper Series 32/18, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    19. Daniel McFadden & Carlos Noton & Pau Olivella, "undated". "Remedies for Sick Insurance," Working Papers 620, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    20. Mimra, Wanda & Wambach, Achim, 2016. "A note on uniqueness in game-theoretic foundations of the reactive equilibrium," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 39-43.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    monopoly; competition; insurance; adverse selection.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:0921. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kirsty Hall). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/edstruk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.