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This paper investigates an operation mechanism for mutual aid platforms to develop more sustainably and profitably. A mutual aid platform is an online risk-sharing platform for risk-heterogeneous participants, and the platform extracts revenues by charging participants commission and subscription fees. A modeling framework is proposed to identify the optimal commissions and subscriptions for mutual aid platforms. Participants are divided into different types based on their loss probabilities and values derived from the platform. We present how these commissions and subscriptions should be set in a mutual aid plan to maximize the platform’s revenues. Our analysis emphasized the importance of accounting for risk heterogeneity in mutual aid platforms. Specifically, different types of participants should be charged different commissions/subscriptions depending on their loss probabilities and values on the platform. Participants’ shared costs should be determined based on their loss probabilities. Adverse selection occurs on the platform if participants with different risks pay the same shared costs. Our results also show that the platform’s maximum revenue will be lower if the platform charges the same fee to all participants. The numerical results of a practical example illustrate that the optimal commission/subscription scheme and risk-sharing rule result in considerable improvements in platform revenue over the current scheme implemented by the platform.
This chapter goes over the decision to purchase health insurance (or not). The way information is presented to individuals has a significant impact on their decision to purchase insurance to protect themselves from the financial consequences of health risks. Eliminating minor inconvenience costs or simplifying the insurance selection process can influence whether or not people purchase insurance. This chapter examines the roles of adverse selection and moral hazard in insurance-related behaviour, as well as the barriers to insurance uptake for individuals ranging from affordability to unobservable quality and information/choice overload. The chapter investigates the role of various nudges in increasing health insurance uptake.
Many economies have recently adopted the defined-contribution retirement financing system, but one disadvantage of this system is that retirees have to bear longevity risk. As a result, several economies have also introduced the public annuity plans. We analyze the similarities and differences between voluntary public annuity with ceiling (VPAc) plan and mandatory public annuity with flexibility (MPAf) plan that are empirically observed. Introducing either plan reduces the severity of adverse selection in public annuities, but further distorts the private annuity market. These two plans have systematically different effects on retirees’ utility levels: the good health group is adversely affected and the average health group benefits. On the other hand, the poor health group benefits from the VPAc plan but may be adversely affected under the MPAf plan.
Mutual benefit societies evolved as the major provider for sickness, accident and life insurance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the major problems facing insurers was the risk of adverse selection, i.e. that unhealthy individuals had more incentives than healthy individuals to insure when priced for the average risk. By empirically examining whether longevity among insured individuals in a nationwide mutual health society was different from a matched sample of uninsured individuals, we seek to identify the presence of adverse selection. We find no compelling evidence showing that unhealthy individuals were more likely to insure, or reasons to believe that problems related to adverse selection would have been a major reason for government intervention in the health insurance market in Sweden.
This chapter addresses insuring natural catastrophes in America. It provides an overview of the existing lines of insurance for natural catastrophe losses, such as homeowners insurance, commercial property insurance (including business interruption insurance), the National Flood Insurance Program, and earthquake insurance (including the California Earthquake Authority). Currently, most natural catastrophe losses are uninsured in America as a result of consumer ignorance regarding risk and private insurers’ general treatment of natural catastrophes as uninsurable correlated risks. Consequently, this chapter also includes a discussion of ways more natural catastrophe losses could be insured in America by considering the ways other developed countries throughout the world insure natural catastrophe losses.
Chapter 4 chronicles the status quo and innovations in underwriting practices in the life insurance domain and shows how private markets deal with information problems and how they eagerly capitalize on novel ways – such as tracking devices – to mitigate asymmetric information. Using quantitative analysis, the chapter also shows that private life insurance markets are more developed in country-years with better information, but that partisanship mediates this relationship. Life insurance is an interesting domain to study because it has many parallels to health insurance, yet the former is mostly private, while the latter is mostly public. The chapter discusses the emergence of a supplementary private health insurance market, but it also documents the continued popularity of public solutions in areas where the time-inconsistency problem cannot be overcome by private actors.
Chapter 2 presents the (formal) theoretical framework and advances four arguments. First, whether or not majority support for public provision of insurance exists depends on the distribution of information. Second, some insurance is best provided via pay-as-you-go systems, but these involve a difficult time-inconsistency problem that private markets cannot solve. Some social insurance is therefore bound to remain almost entirely within the purview of the state. Third, people’s preferences regarding social insurance are also a function of the availability of private options. If social insurance is the only game in town, even those subsidizing the system will support it, leading to broad cross-class majorities. With private alternatives, the better-off will lower their support for public spending, which erodes the broad support public social policy programs traditionally enjoy. Fourth, parties continue to matter because they represent different risk groups, and we expect that partisan conflicts will extend into new areas, most importantly the regulation of information and how it may be used.
We propose a macroeconomic model in which adverse selection in investment amplifies macroeconomic fluctuations, in line with the prominent role played by the credit crunch during the financial crisis. Endogenous lending standards emerge due to an informational asymmetry between borrowers and lenders about the riskiness of borrowers. By using loan approval probability as a screening device, banks ration credit following increases in lending risk, generating large endogenous movements in TFP, explaining why productivity often falls during crises. Furthermore, the mechanism implies that financial instability is heightened when interest rates are low.
In practice, the regulator generally has access to less information than the regulated firm on costs. In Baron– Myerson (1982) the regulated firm has private information on cost characteristics it cannot modify. In Laffont– Tirole (1986) the firm has private information on its endogenous effort to decrease cost. Regulators must pay information rent to access the information required for designing the contracts and must credibly commit to pay it to avoid a ratchet effect. The issue is politically sensitive because the ‘fee’ for information increases the operator’s profit whereas it is paid either by the consumers or the taxpayers, that is, by voters. Under adverse selection, to reduce the cost of the information rent, which is highest for the most efficient firm that is induced to produce the first-best level, less efficient firm production is distorted downward. The optimal regulation mechanism to address moral hazard risks impacting costs offers a menu of contracts where efficient firms choose a high fixed payment and produce the optimal effort while inefficient firms are constrained to choose cost-plus contracts, which again implies no rent and no effort for them.
If the logic of markets is that price equals value, sometimes there are forms of value that fall outside of what markets are able to recognize. We call this phenomenon market failure. It is not a personal or institutional failure or even a failure of economic theory, just a limitation of markets as a medium. Our core case study is of the opening of Tate Modern. The museum revitalized the Southwark area of London and increased property values sometimes 500%. The museum relied on philanthropy and government support and was not able to capture all of the value it created. We consider two very different methods economists use to evaluate these situations: contingent valuation method and economic development study. We compare and contrast the approaches taken by the Guggenheim and the Tate. We explore concepts of market failure including public goods, externalities, tragedy of the commons, free-rider problems, adverse selection, and moral hazard.
Bonus-malus systems (BMSs) are widely used in actuarial sciences. These systems are applied by insurance companies to distinguish the policyholders by their risks. The most known application of BMS is in automobile third-party liability insurance. In BMS, there are several classes, and the premium of a policyholder depends on the class he/she is assigned to. The classification of policyholders over the periods of the insurance depends on the transition rules. In general, optimization of these systems involves the calculation of an appropriate premium scale considering the number of classes and transition rules as external parameters. Usually, the stationary distribution is used in the optimization process. In this article, we present a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulation for determining the premium scale and the transition rules. We present two versions of the model, one with the calculation of stationary probabilities and another with the consideration of multiple periods of the insurance. Furthermore, numerical examples will also be given to demonstrate that the MILP technique is suitable for handling existing BMSs.
During the past decade, genetics research has allowed scientists and clinicians to explore the human genome in detail and reveal many thousands of common genetic variants associated with disease. Genetic risk scores, known as polygenic risk scores (PRSs), aggregate risk information from the most important genetic variants into a single score that describes an individual’s genetic predisposition to a given disease. This article reviews recent developments in the predictive utility of PRSs in relation to a person’s susceptibility to breast cancer and coronary artery disease. Prognostic models for these disorders are built using data from the UK Biobank, controlling for typical clinical and underwriting risk factors. Furthermore, we explore the possibility of adverse selection where genetic information about multifactorial disorders is available for insurance purchasers but not for underwriters. We demonstrate that prediction of multifactorial diseases, using PRSs, provides population risk information additional to that captured by normal underwriting risk factors. This research using the UK Biobank is in the public interest as it contributes to our understanding of predicting risk of disease in the population. Further research is imperative to understand how PRSs could cause adverse selection if consumers use this information to alter their insurance purchasing behaviour.
Insurance has two basic theoretical motivations. First, for those parties holding a risky asset to purchase a commodity that reduces the overall expected risk of the two assets, being the original asset and the asset of the insurance policy. Insurance policies are available in various forms on the market, but two of the main types of policies for environmental accidents are first-party (damage to self and own assets) and third-party (damage to other parties and their assets) liability insurance. Moral hazard contains the idea that if you assume the risk for someone else, then they no longer face the costs of those risks and thus are more likely to undertake those risks. Market capacity to supply the necessary volume of insurance policies and to be able to pay them out when needed can be reinforced with several tools, including forms of co-insurance, reinsurance, and pooling. Again, it bears repeating that while some injuries, like a wrecked car, might be remedied by cash payouts, this is not often the case for material environmental injuries. Thus, the creation of moral hazard for environmental insurance policies, both first-party and third-party, is a serious concern.
As the primary means of entry into legislatures, elections are a key pillar of legislative institutionalization and independence. Politically independent legislators are the foundation of legislative institutional independence. This chapter examines the electoral sources of legislative strength in Kenya and Zambia. In doing so it outlines the incentives faced by legislators both during and after the end of single-party rule. The evidence suggests that Kenyan and Zambian legislators experienced higher levels of incumbency advantage under multipartyism than under single-party rule. I argue that under single-party rule, intra-elite competition for legislative posts took place in the shadow of chief executives. Through the ruling party, presidents in Kenya and Zambia could make and unmake legislators’ political careers. As such, individuals could not invest in robust bases of political support. Political independence could be seen as an attempt to challenge the president. The lack of a localized personal vote exposed Kenyan and Zambian incumbent legislators to challengers – the result being very high turnover rates. The end of single-party rule changed this dynamic. Freed from the monopoly of single-party rule, legislators could freely invest in their reelection without fear of sanction from presidents and outperform comparable challengers.
In this article, we investigate differences in the profiles of patients within the Australian mixed public-private maternal health system to examine the extent of adverse selection. There are conflicting influences on adverse selection within the private health sector in Australia due to government regulations that incentivise lower risk segments of the population to purchase community-rated private health insurance. We use a two-phase modelling methodology that incorporates statistical learning and logistic regression on a dataset that links administrative and longitudinal survey data for a large cohort of women. We find that the key predictor of private patient status is having private health insurance, which itself is largely driven by sociodemographic factors rather than health-or pregnancy-related factors. Additionally, transitioning between the public-private systems for a subsequent pregnancy is uncommon; however, it is primarily driven by changes in private health insurance when it occurs. Other significant factors when transitioning to the private system for a second pregnancy are hypertension, increased access to specialists and stress related to previous motherhood experiences. Consequently, there is limited evidence of adverse selection in this market, with targeted financial incentives likely outweighing the impact of community rating even during childbearing years where private health service use increases.
In comparison with other organizational forms, cooperatives have been found to offer poor product quality and suffer from low reputation. The main reasons discussed in the literature are information asymmetries, which leads to adverse selection and moral hazard, as well as the absence of profit orientation due to poorly specified and diluted property rights. However, although, in reality, many cooperatives indeed perform poorly, and some are apparently able to completely avoid or at least reduce the problems that are considered prototypical for this hybrid organizational form. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify the characteristics required to reduce the problems resulting from poorly specified property rights and information asymmetries and, hence, to successfully compete in the market. The data we use to identify the characteristics that separate “good” and “bad” cooperatives encompass 136 organizations in Austria, Germany, and northern Italy. Our logistic regression estimations show that older and larger cooperatives (in terms of acreage) have a significantly higher probability to be listed in at least one of two highly respected wine guides. Moreover, German cooperatives have a significantly lower probability of being listed than either Austrian or northern Italian cooperatives. The findings suggest that differences in performance can be explained by the management of cooperatives. (JEL Classifications: D23, D82, D86, J54, L22, L25, L66, P13, Q13)
Although they have often been found to be technically inefficient, cooperatives not only have survived in the wine industry but continue to play major roles in most European countries. Because the specific advantages of their “organizational architecture” (resource pooling and decentralization) seem to outweigh the disadvantages (vaguely defined property rights and high monitoring costs), this paper discusses organizational measures to improve the performance of cooperatives by addressing three different aspects of “organizational design” (managing entry and exit, motivating members, and investing in corporate culture). (JEL Classifications: D22, D23, L14, L21, L31)
This paper investigates equilibrium in an insurance market where risk classification is restricted. Insurance demand is characterised by an iso-elastic function with a single elasticity parameter. We characterise the equilibrium by three quantities: equilibrium premium; level of adverse selection (in the economist's sense); and “loss coverage”, defined as the expected population losses compensated by insurance. We consider both equal elasticities for high and low risk-groups, and then different elasticities. In the equal elasticities case, adverse selection is always higher under pooling than under risk-differentiated premiums, while loss coverage first increases and then decreases with demand elasticity. We argue that loss coverage represents the efficacy of insurance for the whole population; and therefore that if demand elasticity is sufficiently low, adverse selection is not always a bad thing.
This paper considers methods to adversely select on Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) and Supplemental Revenue (SURE). In the case of winter wheat, farmers had a large amount of a priori yield and price information before electing 2009 ACRE. Prior to the August 14 sign-up for ACRE, wheat was 3 months into the marketing year. In most years nearly half of the national average price is determined in the first 3 months of the marketing year. With this available information it was clear that Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington wheat would collect the maximum or near the maximum ACRE payment, while there was little chance that ACRE would pay on Colorado wheat.