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Economics

Insurance

2014

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Behavioral Economics And Insurance Law: The Importance Of Equilibrium Analysis, Tom Baker, Peter Siegelman Jan 2014

Behavioral Economics And Insurance Law: The Importance Of Equilibrium Analysis, Tom Baker, Peter Siegelman

All Faculty Scholarship

Because choosing insurance requires consumers to assess risks and probabilities, the demand for insurance has proven to be fertile ground for identifying deviations from rational behavior. Consumers often shun the insurance against large losses that they rationally should want (e.g., floods); and they are attracted to insurance against small losses (extended warranties, low deductibles) that no rational individual should purchase. But the welfare consequences of behavioral anomalies in insurance are complex, because consumers’ irrational behavior takes place in a market profoundly shaped by informational asymmetries. Under some conditions, deviations from rational behavior may actually generate insurance market equilibria that produce …