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Risk classification and cream skimming on the deregulated German insurance market

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  • Beschorner, Patrick F. E.

Abstract

In a two-stage model insurance companies first decide upon risk classification and then compete in prices. I show that the observed heterogeneous behavior of similar firms is compatible with rational behavior. On the deregulated German insurance market individual application of classification schemes induces welfare losses due to cream skimming. Classification costs and pricing above marginal cost can be prevented by common industry-wide loss statistics which already exist to a rudimentary extent. They allow competition to approach Bertrand type. The computation of a mixed-strategy equilibrium for Bertrand competition allows to explain the decrease of industry profit after deregulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Beschorner, Patrick F. E., 2003. "Risk classification and cream skimming on the deregulated German insurance market," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 37, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:37
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baye, Michael R. & Morgan, John, 1999. "A folk theorem for one-shot Bertrand games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 59-65, October.
    2. Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1989. "A re-evaluation of perfect competition as the solution to the Bertrand price game," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 315-328, June.
    3. Todd R. Kaplan & David Wettstein, 2000. "The possibility of mixed-strategy equilibria with constant-returns-to-scale technology under Bertrand competition," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 65-71.
    4. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Insurance Regulation; Cream Skimming; Bertrand Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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