The demand for regulation of financial disclosures: The case of the insurance industry [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 7 (1-2):29 - 39 (1988)
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Policyholders and other claimants in insurance companies are interested in solidity, i.e., the ability of insurers to meet their claims obligations in both the short run and the long run. Insurance regulators exist in order to represent the interests of consumers. Great emphasis is placed by the regulators of the market on the mandatory and uniform disclosure of relevant financial and operating aspects of insurers. This paper employs simple gametheoretic techniques to address two aspects of the general issue of the desirability of establishing a regulator to assess the solidity of insurers. First, why would uniform information about insurers be desirable? Given that uniformity is desirable, it could be achieved by voluntary agreement of insurers or via regulation. The second issue is how that uniformity is to be achieved; that is, what is the value of a regulator in achieving uniformity? Insurance provides an interesting instance of the general problem. A key determinant is the structure of costs and benefits of securing voluntary agreements across firms.



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