Optimal Risk Sharing with Limited Liability
82 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 1, 2012
We solve the general problem of optimal risk sharing among a nite number of agents with limited liability. We show that the optimal allocation is characterized by endogenously determined ranks assigned to the participating agents and a hierarchical structure of risk sharing, where all agents take on risks only above the agent-specific thresholds determined by their ranks. When all agents have CARA utilities, linear risk sharing is optimal between two adjacent thresholds. We use our general characterization of optimal risk sharing with limited liability to solve the problem of optimal insurance design with multiple insurers. We show that the optimal thresholds, or deductibles, can be efficiently calculated through the fixed point of a contraction mapping. We then use this contraction mapping technique to derive a number of comparative statics results for optimal insurance design and its dependence on microeconomic characteristics.
Keywords: optimal risk sharing, limited liability, optimal insurance design
JEL Classification: A10, D86, G22
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