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Loss aversion leading to advantageous selection

Christina Aperjis () and Filippo Balestrieri ()
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Christina Aperjis: Power Auctions LLC
Filippo Balestrieri: Analysis Group

Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 2017, vol. 55, issue 2, 203-227

Abstract: Abstract Some insurance markets are characterized by “advantageous selection”, that is, ex-post risk and coverage are negatively correlated. We show that expectation-based loss aversion as in Kőszegi and Rabin (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 121(4), 1133–1165, 2006; The American Economic Review, 97(4), 1047–1073, 2007) provides a natural explanation for this phenomenon in environments in which risk aversion models do not, e.g., when agents face modest-scale risks and/or in absence of moral hazard. More exposure to risk has two competing effects on an agent’s willingness to pay for insurance: a positive effect, as in standard expected utility models; and a negative one, due to a reference effect. We determine conditions under which an insurance provider optimally sets a high price at which only low risk agents buy.

Keywords: Loss aversion; Advantageous selection; Insurance; Risk (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D81 D82 D11 D42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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