Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, and Ray FismanJan 21, 2023
Why Insurance Markets Fail and What to Do About It
Yale University Press 2023
Why is dental insurance so crummy? Why is pet insurance so expensive? Why does your auto insurer ask for your credit score? The answer to these questions lies in understanding how insurance works. Unlike the market for other goods and services—for instance, a grocer who doesn’t care who buys the store’s broccoli or carrots—insurance providers are more careful in choosing their customers, because some are more expensive than others.
In Risky Business: Why Insurance Markets Fail and What to Do About It (Yale UP, 2023), Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, and Ray Fisman explore such issues as why insurers want to know so much about us and whether we should let them obtain this information; why insurance entrepreneurs often fail (and some tricks that may help them succeed); and whether we’d be better off with government-mandated health insurance instead of letting businesses, customers, and markets decide who gets coverage and at what price. With insurance at the center of divisive debates about privacy, equity, and the appropriate role of government, this book offers clear explanations for some of the critical business and policy issues you’ve often wondered about, as well as for others you haven’t yet considered.
John Emrich has worked for decades years in corporate finance, business valuation and fund management. He has a podcast about the investment space called Kick the Dogma.