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All Faculty Scholarship

2020

Insurance

Health Law and Policy

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The Paradox Of Insurance, Gideon Parchomovsky, Peter Siegelman Mar 2020

The Paradox Of Insurance, Gideon Parchomovsky, Peter Siegelman

All Faculty Scholarship

In this Article, we uncover a paradoxical phenomenon that has hitherto largely escaped the attention of legal scholars and economists, yet it has far-reaching implications for insurance law: loss-creation by uninsured parties caused by the presence of insurance. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, we show that insurance can create significant negative externalities by inducing third parties to engage in antisocial, illegal and unethical activities in order to extract money from insureds or insurers. Moreover, as the amount and scope of insurance grows, so does its distortionary effect on third parties. We term this phenomenon the paradox of insurance. The risk …