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An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade in Insurance

John Cawley and Tomas Philipson
The American Economic Review
Vol. 89, No. 4 (Sep., 1999), pp. 827-846
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/117161
Page Count: 20
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An Empirical Examination of Information Barriers to Trade in Insurance
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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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