December 2013

IZA DP No. 7806: Hidden Insurance in a Moral Hazard Economy

revised version published in: RAND Journal of Economics, 2015, 46 (4), 777-790

We consider an economy where individuals privately choose effort and trade competitively priced securities that pay off with effort-determined probability. We show that if insurance against a negative shock is sufficiently incomplete, then standard functional form restrictions ensure that individual objective functions are optimized by an effort and insurance combination that is unique and satisfies first- and second-order conditions. Modeling insurance incompleteness in terms of costly production of private insurance services, we characterize the constrained inefficiency arising in general equilibrium from competitive pricing of nonexclusive financial contracts.