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Between-Group Adverse Selection: Evidence from Group Critical Illness Insurance

  • Eling, Martin


  • Jia, Ruo


  • Yao, Yi


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This paper demonstrates the presence of adverse selection in the group insurance market for policies that allow no individual choice. As a “conventional wisdom,” group insurance mitigates adverse selection, since individual choice is minimized and group losses have less variability than individual losses. We complement this “conventional wisdom” by analyzing a group insurance scenario in which individual choice is excluded, and find that there is still adverse selection at the level of group, i.e. between-group adverse selection. Between-group adverse selection, however, disappears over time if the group renews with the same insurer for certain periods. Our results thus indicate that addressing adverse selection via group insurance is not necessarily effective enough to mitigate adverse selection, but that experience rating and underwriting based on the information that insurers learn over time are important.

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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Finance in its series Working Papers on Finance with number 1403.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision: Oct 2014
Handle: RePEc:usg:sfwpfi:2014:03
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  1. Alma Cohen, 2005. "Asymmetric Information and Learning: Evidence from the Automobile Insurance Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 197-207, May.
  2. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  3. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Salanie, Bernard, 1997. "Empirical contract theory: The case of insurance data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 943-950, April.
  6. Alma Cohen, 2008. "Asymmetric Learning in Repeated Contracting: An Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 13752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kunreuther, Howard & Pauly, Mark, 1985. "Market equilibrium with private knowledge : An insurance example," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 269-288, April.
  8. Hajime Miyazaki, 1977. "The Rat Race and Internal Labor Markets," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 394-418, Autumn.
  9. Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1981. "Contractual Provisions, Organizational Structure, and Conflict Control in Insurance Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 407-34, July.
  10. Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1982. "On the Corporate Demand for Insurance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 281-96, April.
  11. Georges Dionne & Christian Gourieroux & Charles Vanasse, 2001. "Testing for Evidence of Adverse Selection in the Automobile Insurance Market: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 444-473, April.
  12. Robin Hanson, 2005. "Adverse selection in group insurance: The virtues of failing to represent voters," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 139-157, 07.
  13. Spence, Michael, 1978. "Product differentiation and performance in insurance markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 427-447, December.
  14. Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1990. "On the Corporate Demand for Insurance: Evidence from the Reinsurance Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 19-40, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Smith, Bruce D & Stutzer, Michael J, 1990. "Adverse Selection, Aggregate Uncertainty, and the Role for Mutual Insurance Contracts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(4), pages 493-510, October.
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