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Social and Behavioral Sciences

2015

Adverse Selection

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Full-Text Articles in Insurance

Risk Misperception And Selection In Insurance Markets: An Application To Demand For Cancer Insurance, David S. Hales May 2015

Risk Misperception And Selection In Insurance Markets: An Application To Demand For Cancer Insurance, David S. Hales

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Spinnewijn (2013) posits that optimism about risk and the efficacy of risk-reducing effort could cause selection in insurance markets. We test for this using a survey of 474 subjects’ demand for hypothetical cancer insurance. We elicit perceptions of baseline cancer risk and control efficacy and combine these with subject-specific cancer risks predicted by the Harvard Cancer Risk Index to develop measures of baseline and control optimism. We find that only 23 percent of our subjects would purchase a fair insurance contract aligned to their true risk type. Of these subjects, 94 percent also overinvest in prevention, leading to advantageous selection.