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Organizational form and efficiency: an analysis of stock and mutual property-liability insurers
This paper analyzes the efficiency of stock and mutual organizational forms in the property-liability insurance industry using nonparametric frontier efficiency methods. We test the managerial discretion hypothesis, which predicts that the market will sort organizational forms into market segments where they have comparative advantages in minimizing the costs of production, including agency costs. Both production and cost frontiers are estimated. The results indicate that stocks and mutuals are operating on separate production and cost frontiers and thus represent distinct technologies. The ...
Conglomeration versus strategic focus: evidence from the insurance industry
We use data on U.S. insurance companies to examine the validity of the conglomeration hypothesis versus the strategic focus hypothesis for financial institutions. We distinguish between the hypotheses using profit scope economies, which measures the relative efficiency of joint versus specialized production, taking both costs and revenues into account. The results suggest that the conglomeration hypothesis dominates for some types of financial service providers and the strategic focus hypothesis dominates for other types. This may explain the empirical puzzle of why joint producers and ...