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The Liberalization of Insurances

Pierre-Charles Pradier * Centre d'Économie de la Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Contact :

Narratives of liberalization focus on the "commodification" of the Welfare State, but the phenomenon has mainly led to the resolution of market failures. Insurers were thus able to underwrite risks that were not previously covered. In the life insurance sector, the variation of inflows seems to have been determined by instantaneous rates of return, which were driven to zero by quantitative easing policies. Competition has led to concentration, which may appear quite high at the national level, but is still hampered by the nature of certain operators and, more generally, by the importance of local characteristics, even though regional and international regulatory harmonization made significant progress.

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