NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Information Spillovers, Margins, Scale and Scope: With an Application to Canadian Life Insurance

Jeffrey I. Bernstein

NBER Working Paper No. 3979 (Also Reprint No. r1763)
Issued in January 1992
NBER Program(s):Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

This paper develops a model of the production of life insurance services. The focus is on price setting ability and the cost advantages from size and diversity. The model characterizes insurers decisions on the face value and number of policies and the number of insurance lines. The model is applied to Canadian life insurance firms. Price-cost margins average from 13% to 40%. These margins emanate from information spillovers generated by marketing activities. Cost advantages due to size are small, but are substantial from diversity. Returns to scale average from 1.13 to 1.40, while returns to scope average from 70% to 100%.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3979

Published: The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 94, 1992 Supplement, pp. 95-105(1992). citation courtesy of

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