Estimating risk preferences from deductible choice

Alma Cohen*, Liran Einav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

309 Scopus citations


We develop a structural econometric model to estimate risk preferences from data on deductible choices in auto insurance contracts. We account for adverse selection by modeling unobserved heterogeneity in both risk (claim rate) and risk aversion. We find large and skewed heterogeneity in risk attitudes. In addition, women are more risk averse than men, risk aversion exhibits a U-shape with respect to age, and proxies for income and wealth are positively associated with absolute risk aversion. Finally, unobserved heterogeneity in risk aversion is greater than that of risk, and, as we illustrate, has important implications for insurance pricing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-788
Number of pages44
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


FundersFunder number
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences0452555


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