The financial leverage of Insurers subject to price regulation: evidence from Canada

Abstract

The variation in the degree of price regulation in the property-liability insurance market in Canada varies across time and space, creating an opportunity to test a recurring theory in regulatory economics: that price regulated firms have higher levels of financial leverage. Using an instrumental variable for the stringency of price-regulation, this paper utilizes a panel data set of Canadian property-liability insurers over ten years of time, 1997-2006. The results support the theory but do not conclude on whether the increase in financial leverage is a strategic decision or a natural reaction to worsening business conditions brought-on by price-regulation

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This paper was published in Munich RePEc Personal Archive.

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