Car insurance

With Pierre-André Chiappori, James Heckman, Jean Pinquet, and Tibor Zavadil, I have analyzed asymmetric information in car insurance using longitudinal contract-level data from insurers.

Abbring, Jaap H., Pierre-André Chiappori, James J. Heckman, and Jean Pinquet (2003), “Adverse selection and moral hazard in insurance: Can dynamic data help to distinguish?”, Journal of the European Economic Association, 1 (Papers and Proceedings), 512–521.

A standard problem of applied contracts theory is to empirically distinguish between adverse selection and moral hazard. We show that dynamic insurance data allow to distinguish moral hazard from dynamic selection on unobservables. In the presence of moral hazard, experience rating implies negative occurrence dependence: individual claim intensities decrease with the number of past claims. We discuss econometric tests for the various types of data that are typically available. Finally, we argue that dynamic data also allow to test for adverse selection, even if it is based on asymmetric learning.

Abbring, Jaap H., Pierre-André Chiappori, and Jean Pinquet (2003), “Moral hazard and dynamic insurance data”, Journal of the European Economic Association, 1, 767–820.

This paper exploits dynamic features of insurance contracts in the empirical analysis of moral hazard. We first show that experience rating implies negative occurrence dependence under moral hazard: individual claim intensities decrease with the number of past claims. We then show that dynamic insurance data allow to distinguish this moral-hazard effect from dynamic selection on unobservables. We develop nonparametric tests and estimate a flexible parametric model. We find no evidence of moral hazard in French car insurance. Our analysis contributes to a recent literature based on static data that has problems distinguishing between moral hazard and selection and dealing with dynamic features of actual insurance contracts. Methodologically, this paper builds on and extends the literature on state dependence and heterogeneity in event-history data.

Abbring Jaap H., Pierre-André Chiappori, and Tibor Zavadil (2008), “Better safe than sorry? Ex ante and ex post moral hazard in dynamic insurance data”, Discussion Paper 2008-77, CentER, Tilburg.

This paper empirically analyzes moral hazard in car insurance using a dynamic theory of an insuree’s dynamic risk (ex ante moral hazard) and claim (ex post moral hazard) choices and Dutch longitudinal micro data. We use the theory to characterize the heterogeneous dynamic changes in incentives to avoid claims that are generated by the Dutch experience-rating scheme, and their effects on claim times and sizes under moral hazard. We develop tests that exploit these structural implications of moral hazard and experience rating. Unlike much of the earlier literature, we find evidence of moral hazard.

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