American Economic Review: Vol. 89 No. 4 (September 1999)

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An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade in Insurance

Article Citation

Cawley, John, and Tomas Philipson. 1999. "An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade in Insurance." American Economic Review, 89(4): 827-846.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.4.827

Abstract

This paper uses direct evidence to evaluate whether asymmetric information is a barrier to trade in the largest market for private insurance in the world: life insurance. We report several findings that seem difficult to reconcile with the conventional theory of insurance under asymmetric information. We conjecture that sellers may know their costs of production better than consumers in this market, as in those for most other products.

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Authors

Cawley, John (U Chicago)
Philipson, Tomas (U Chicago)

JEL Classifications

G22: Insurance; Insurance Companies
D82: Asymmetric and Private Information


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