Efficiency Comparisons between Mutual and Stock Life Insurance Companies
This research examines the relationship between firm efficiency and choice of organizational form using a seven year panel data set of 586 life insurers. Our study window is from 1985 to 1991. We began the study with two questions in mind: "Do stocks and mutuals use different production technologies?" and "Are stocks and mutuals equally efficient or is one form relatively more efficient than the other?". Using some cost and error structure tests that resemble those found in recent efficiency studies, we find evidence that stocks and mutuals have distinctive cost structures and production technologies. Results also show that efficiency varies with organizational form, with stocks being more scale efficient than mutuals but mutuals being more X-efficient than stocks.
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