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The Structure of the Global Reinsurance Market: An Analysis of Efficiency, Scale, and Scope

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  • Biener, Christian
  • Eling, Martin
  • Jia, Ruo

Abstract

We estimate economies of scale and scope as well as cost efficiency to explain the structure of the global reinsurance market, where large reinsurers dominate, but both diversified and specialized reinsurers play important roles. The costs and benefits of size and product diversification play significant roles in the reinsurance industry as risk diversification is at the heart of the industry’s business model. We find that reinsurers with total assets less than USD 2.9 billion exhibit scale economies, while those with total assets greater than USD 15.5 billion do not. Large reinsurers are characterized by high cost efficiency; small reinsurers exhibit superior efficiency only when they are specialized. The evidence is in line with the efficient structure hypothesis and suggests an optimal size range for reinsurance firms from which the current market structure results.

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  • Biener, Christian & Eling, Martin & Jia, Ruo, 2016. "The Structure of the Global Reinsurance Market: An Analysis of Efficiency, Scale, and Scope," Working Papers on Finance 1603, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:sfwpfi:2016:03
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    2. Eling, Martin & Jia, Ruo & Schaper, Philipp, 2017. "Get the Balance Right: A Simultaneous Equation Model to Analyze Growth, Profitability, and Safety," Working Papers on Finance 1716, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    3. Biener, Christian & Eling, Martin & Jia, Ruo, 2017. "The structure of the global reinsurance market: An analysis of efficiency, scale, and scope," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 213-229.
    4. Igor Custodio João & Andre Lucas & Julia Schaumburg, 2021. "Clustering Dynamics and Persistence for Financial Multivariate Panel Data," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 21-040/III, Tinbergen Institute.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Insurance; Data Envelopment Analysis; Cost Efficiency; Market Structure; Economies of Scale; Economies of Scope;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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