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Seguros, crisis, regulación y disciplina del mercado

Ferro, Gustavo and Castagnolo, Fermando (2010): Seguros, crisis, regulación y disciplina del mercado.


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The insurance industry, in its different business lines, concentrates 11 percent of the World financial assets. As in all the remaining financial activities, it is object of comprehensive regulation of structure, conduct and performance (with diverse emphasis), besides social scrutiny. The objective of the present article is to discern the phenomena behind the recent financial crisis and its impact in the insurance industry, and to contribute to the debate on more/less market and/or scarce/excessive regulation. This paper yields also an empirical approach which consists in examining the character of the market discipline as a substitute or complement of the prudential regulation. The proposals in implementation in the European Union, known as Solvency II, add the regulatory pillars of capitalization, supervision and market discipline. In other places, such as New Zealand, confidence is put on the latter exclusively. The research questions which give structure to the document are: why to regulate insurance markets? How are they regulated around the world? Which were the origins of the crisis, and how did it impact on the insurance market? What is new in the regulatory debate? Did market discipline worked? Did it replace or complement prudential supervision? What did we learn? After a detailed debate on the first four questions, we analyze empirically the existence of market discipline in the insurance markets of Germany, Spain, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. We conclude on the complementary role of market discipline with respect to prudential supervision.

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