The Insurance Is the Lemon: Failing to Index Contracts
51 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2017 Last revised: 9 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 6, 2019
We model the widespread failure of contracts to share risk using available indices. A borrower and lender can share risk by conditioning repayments on an index. The lender has private information about the ability of this index to measure the true state the borrower would like to hedge. The lender is risk averse, and thus requires a premium to insure the borrower. The borrower, however, might be paying something for nothing, if the index is a poor measure of the true state. We provide sufficient conditions for this effect to cause the borrower to choose a non-indexed contract instead.
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