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Measurement and Pricing of Risk in Insurance Markets

Tsanakas, A. & Desli, E. (2005). Measurement and Pricing of Risk in Insurance Markets. Risk Analysis, 25(6), pp. 1653-1668. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00684.x


The theory and practice of risk measurement provides a point of intersection between risk management, economic theories of choice under risk, financial economics, and actuarial pricing theory. This article provides a review of these interrelationships, from the perspective of an insurance company seeking to price the risks that it underwrites. We examine three distinct approaches to insurance risk pricing, all being contingent on the concept of risk measures. Risk measures can be interpreted as representations of risk orderings, as well as absolute (monetary) quantifiers of risk. The first approach can be called an “axiomatic” one, whereby the price for risks is calculated according to a functional determined by a set of desirable properties. The price of a risk is directly interpreted as a risk measure and may be induced by an economic theory of price under risk. The second approach consists in contextualizing the considerations of the risk bearer by embedding them in the market where risks are traded. Prices are calculated by equilibrium arguments, where each economic agent's optimization problem follows from the minimization of a risk measure. Finally, in the third approach, weaknesses of the equilibrium approach are addressed by invoking alternative valuation techniques, the leading paradigm among which is arbitrage pricing. Such models move the focus from individual decisiontakers to abstract market price systems and are thus more parsimonious in the amount of information that they require. In this context, risk measures, instead of characterizing individual agents, are used for determining the set of price systems that would be viable in a market.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: "Tsanakas, A. and Desli, E. (2005), Measurement and Pricing of Risk in Insurance Markets. Risk Analysis, 25: 1653–1668. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00684.x", which has been published in final form at 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00684.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Publisher Keywords: Risk measures, Insurance Pricing, Choice under Risk, Risk Exchange, Good Deals
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance
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