“Financial Inclusion and Life Insurance Demand; Evidence from Italian households”

by Elisa Luciano, Mariacristina Rossi, Dario Sansone; CeRP WP 156/16

This paper studies the demand drivers for life insurance, both lump sum and annuity, using the Bank of Italy (SHIW) panel dataset 2004-2012. We consider both participation and invested amounts. We use stock market participation, home ownership and financial literacy as measure of financial market inclusion. We find that financial inclusion stands as the pivotal regressor in shaping life insurance demand, especially annuities, even when we include pension funds in the definition of annuities. Instead, except gender, the traditional drivers of insurance demand, such as income, wealth, geographical or sociological variables, have a lower impact than financial inclusion. These results are robust to the inclusion of time and individual fixed effects, as well as the IV approach to tackle the potential endogeneity of financial inclusion.

Published: January 2016