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Imperfect information is the cause of the moral hazard problem. If an insurance company had perfect information on risk, it could simply raise its premiums every time an insured party engages in riskier behavior. However, an insurance company cannot monitor all the risks that people take all the time and so, even with various checks and cost-sharing, moral hazard will remain a problem.

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The adverse selection problem

Adverse selection refers to the problem in which the buyers of insurance have more information about whether they are high-risk or low-risk than the insurance company does. This creates an asymmetric information problem for the insurance company because buyers who are high-risk tend to want to buy more insurance, without letting the insurance company know about their higher risk. For example, someone purchasing health insurance or life insurance probably knows more about their family’s health history than an insurer can reasonably find out even with a costly investigation; someone purchasing car insurance may know that they are a high-risk driver who has not yet had a major accident—but it is hard for the insurance company to collect information about how people actually drive.

To understand how adverse selection can strangle an insurance market, recall the situation of 100 drivers who are buying automobile insurance, where 60 drivers had very low damages of $100 each, 30 drivers had medium-sized accidents that cost $1,000 each, and 10 of the drivers had large accidents that cost $15,000. That would equal $186,000 in total payouts by the insurance company. Imagine that, while the insurance company knows the overall size of the losses, it cannot identify the high-risk, medium-risk, and low-risk drivers. However, the drivers themselves know their risk groups. Since there is asymmetric information between the insurance company and the drivers, the insurance company would likely set the price of insurance at $1,860 per year, to cover the average loss (not including the cost of overhead and profit). The result is that those with low risks of only $100 will likely decide not to buy insurance; after all, it makes no sense for them to pay $1,860 per year when they are likely only to experience losses of $100. Those with medium risks of a $1,000 accident will not buy insurance either. So the insurance company ends up only selling insurance for $1,860 to high-risk drivers who will average $15,000 in claims apiece. So the insurance company ends up losing a lot of money. If the insurance company tries to raise its premiums to cover the losses of those with high risks, then those with low or medium risks will be even more discouraged from buying insurance.

Rather than face such a situation of adverse selection, the insurance company may decide not to sell insurance in this market    at all. If an insurance market is to exist, then one of two things must happen. First, the insurance company might find some way of separating insurance buyers into risk groups with some degree of accuracy and charging them accordingly, which in practice often means that the insurance company tries not to sell insurance to those who may pose high risks. Or second, those with low risks must be required to buy insurance, even if they have to pay more than the actuarially fair amount for their risk group. The notion that people can be required to purchase insurance raises the issue of government laws and regulations that influence the insurance industry.

Questions & Answers

Explain the factors that have led to high quantity demanded
Ogwang Reply
price of the product increase of price substitute product as people shift to cheap one
Black
what are the methods used by trade union to increase wages of their members?
Black Reply
strike
Pearl
the size of the commodity
Mensah
increase demand of labour decrease supply of labour
Black
I do support your answer Jackel.
keshav
but how do they do it?
Black
by increasing more labour and reduced the suppliers
Mensah
they can not increase labour, they increase demand of labour.
Black
how do they increase demand for labor?
Black
by analyzing the market equilibrium , cost reduction and cost control , savings in time .
yash
decreasing supply of labour are achieved through training and certification that require for you to employed, you must have certificate, also trade union encouraged government to restrict migration into the country causing shortage of labour supply. Note that the aim of union is to enhance life
Black
objective of union: better working conditions, liveable wage, protect member from unfair treatment which are done through negotiations betweens representative and management. known as collective bargaining.
Black
what is the nature of economics?
Tyscar Reply
economics is a social science since it seeks to solve social problem of scarcity
Jamal
main concerns is the decision individuals make on the allocation of scarce resources among the competing wants
Black
in the short run firm produce a positive as long as the price is larger than what?
yoel Reply
what is economic
Bah Reply
economics is the study of managing the resources in order to maximize the needs and satisfy the wants to a great extent in a regulated set-up..
Muhammad
One explanation for deviation when there is no impact on balance of trade
Shaneel
economic s is a social science that deals with human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which has alternative uses
Derokiz
economic is a study of mankind in ordinary business of life
FIDELIS
economics it is the study of social science that deals with human behaviour as relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
salam
what is diminishing returns
Blessed Reply
what is the difference between calculus linear equation and derivative?
Bti
whats inferior goods?
jaamac Reply
Good having low quality , also known as giffin goods. When income increases people shift to better quality goods . Hence having a negative effect on inferior goods rather than positive relation ( ie when income increases demand increases but not in case of inferior goods ) example wheat and bajra .
yash
What do u understand by the word ENDS in professor Lord L C Robinson definition of Economics?
Kaba Reply
I understand that ENDS is the unlimited needs of human. But we have limited resources to achieve our unlimited needs/wants. Thank you.
Midhun
variable is a factor that can change
nyodb Reply
did you understand definition of variablE
nyodb
what is monopoly
Shahid Reply
A market situation where there is a single seller of a product for the buyers.
harmony
monopoly is when you have a product in the market and only one supplier got this product so he starts rising price and dominate the market, cause this product doesn't have a competitor
Anas
A market structure characterized by a single seller, selling a unique product in the market. In a monopoly market, the seller faces no competition, as he is the sole seller of goods with no close substitute.
Jale
This is a kind of market that only one seller dominate the market without no competition of a y product or seller.
Ojo
what is production possibility curve?
Lisa
a production possibility curve is a diagram that shows two goods produced in an economy in such a way that increase in the production of one good cannot be done without the decrease on the production of the other. there are efficient points, inefficient points and unattainable points on the PPC
The
production possibility curve or frontier is useful analytical tool for illustrating the concepts of scarcity, choice and opportunity costs.
wilflay
The International Year of Soils, 2015 (IYS 2015) was declared by the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly on December 20th, 2013 after recognizing December 5th as World Soil Day.The purpose of the IYS is to raise awarenessworldwide of the importance of soils for food security,
what
what is indifference curve
Evet
Monopoly is the explicit right given to business or entrepreneurship by the government to operate as the only entity in the economy
wilflay
what is economic system ?
wilflay
economical matter solve this system is know as economic system
what
indifference curve is a diagram that shows the combination of only 2 commodities in such a way that each point on the indifference curve gives the same level of satisfaction
The
all consumer is equal consumtion as definite all ..that type curve is indifference curve
what
what is variable?
Rajeev
economic structure of any area is ,city or country is called economic system
Jairam
what is the difference between rational and irrational choice
Amina
help
Amina
Rational choice theory is an economic principle that assumes that individuals always make prudent and logical decisions that provide them with the highest amount of personal utility. ... Most mainstream academic assumptions and theories are based on rational choice theory.
Anas
Irrationality is cognition, thinking, talking, or acting without inclusion of rationality. It is more specifically described as an action or opinion given through inadequate use of reason, or through emotional distress or cognitive deficiency.
Anas
help
Mensah
The meaning of inverse
Mensah
?
Anas
inverse what ? inverse means opposite .. like if ones going down other goes up so inverse relationship
MansoorAfghan
Definition of Inversely Related: Two variables are inversely related when an increase in one variable causes a reduction in the other variable. For example, when the price of a good increases, its quantity demanded decreases.
Anas
what is opotunity cost
salam
is an alternative forgone after the best choice have been selected.for example when you have cocacola and pepsi and you choose cocacola oportunity cost will be pepsi
Amin
explain the meaning of price cealing and price floor..?
Amin
It is argued that under optimization, since there is the second-order sufficient condition, the first-order condition is not necessary. Discuss.
John Reply
It is argued that in optimization the first part of second order condition appears opposite to their interpretation. Explain why you think otherwise.
John
Would you expect the kinked demand curve to be more extreme (like a right angle) or less extreme (like a normal demand curve) if each firm in the cartel produces a near-identical product like OPEC and petroleum? What if each firm produces a somewhat different product? Explain your reasoning.
Shauna Reply
we need to understand the things that manufacturer industies need to overcome the change of price, including all the all factors
Franck
hi
Jale
I expect the demand curve of such a case to be less extreme almost a horizobtal line.
tesfie
hi
Hashim
Hi
Prajwal
hi to
Sarparah
hello
Kaba
What is substitutional effect?
Nathan Reply
how can a manufacturer of consumers durable seek to respond to environmental change as rapidly as possible
Franck Reply
what are resources?
Kamboyi
what is price indeterminate?
Ng Reply
Hi 👋
Chris.M
Hi
Ebenezer

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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