Moral Hazard

Moral hazard was first used in the insurance industry, but can also be observed in many other situations. The term refers to the negative behavior of an individual or a group being insured. When an entity is insured, they may take greater risks compared to when they were not secured by the insurance and may expose themselves to greater risks. Paul Krugman defines the term as: “any situation in which one person makes the decision about how much risk to take, while someone else bears the cost if things go badly.”

Moral Hazard

The examples are abundant. For instance, individuals who take some insurance for their car may drive more carelessly than ever before since someone else, here the insurance company, is bearing the risks. Likewise, an employee who feels that his or her position is safe in the firm may work with less efficiency. Also, banks may take greater risks if the government promises to support the loss-making banks.

 

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Further Reading

Moral Hazard

– Moral Hazard, what is it and how it works

What’s So Moral About Moral Hazard?