NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Minimum Asset Requirements and Compulsory Liability Insurance As Solutions to the Judgment-Proof Problem

Steven Shavell

NBER Working Paper No. 10341
Issued in March 2004
NBER Program(s):   LE

Minimum asset and liability insurance requirements must often be met in order for parties to participate in potentially harmful activities. Such financial responsibility requirements may improve parties' decisions whether to engage in harmful activities and, if so, their efforts to reduce risk. However, the requirements may undesirably prevent some parties with low assets from engaging in activities. Liability insurance requirements tend to improve parties' incentives to reduce risk when insurers can observe levels of care, but dilute incentives to reduce risk when insurers cannot observe levels of care. In the latter case, compulsory liability insurance may be inferior to minimum asset requirements.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10341

Published: Shavell, Steven. "Minimum Asset Requirements And Compulsory Liability Insurances As Solutions To The Judgment-Proof Problem," Rand Journal of Economics, 2005, v36(1,Spring), 63-77.

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