Intangible Assets and Firm Asset Risk Taking: An Analysis of Property and Liability Insurance Firms
35 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2008
Date Written: September 2007
Intangible assets facilitate insurers' capacity to retain existing business and attract new clients. In this study we analyze how the incentives to protect intangible assets affect asset risk taking behavior of property liability insurers. Our evidence supports the view that insurers' incentives to protect their intangible assets lead to an inverse relation between intangible assets and asset risk. Consistent with the view that highly levered firm may go for broke, asset risk of highly levered insurers is less elastic to intangible assets than that of lowly levered insurers. Another interesting finding is that tangible factors such as firm size and capitalization increase insurers' appetite for asset risk taking.
Keywords: intangible assets, franchise value, gambling, asset allocation, insurance
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