Economics of Uncertainty: Insurance and Finance (not offered)

ECO440 Economics of Uncertainty: Insurance and Finance (not offered)

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    The overall topic of the course is economic and financial decisions under uncertainty and is motivated by challenges facing the insurance and finance industry. The course applies expected utility and explains risk aversion and its behavioral implications. It also describes how to rank risks, how to optimally buy insurance (demand side), and, how to choose between savings and consumption in a multi-period model. A central ingredient in these problems is uncertainty.

    The course also deals with optimal sharing of risk between several parties, one example is risk sharing between an insurance company and an insurer. We also look at implications of equilibrium in capital markets for financial risk premiums and the equilibrium interest rate. If time allows, the content is supplemented with other topics within this general subject.

  • Learning outcome

    After completing thous course, students should


    • Understand how risk aversion and risk characteristics affect insurance premium and risk premiums in capital markets.
    • Understand the meaning of equilibrium and calculate equilibrium in some standard models.
    • Be familiar with  the concept Pareto optimal risk allocation, a risk allocation concept different form standard insurance.


    • Be able to analyse stylized situations where the individual is facing economic uncertainty. Examples of such situations are demand for insurance or more complex risk sharing between several agents.
    • Be fluent in the use of the basic tools to analyse and rank risks.

    General competence

    • Be able to assess whether insurance is needed, if so, the amount of insurance to which premium.
    • Understand the basics of uncertainty in how it is included in models.

  • Teaching

    The course is based on two weekly lectures, in total four hours every week. About five exercise sets are distributed and solutions are discussed in class.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Basic knowledge in mathematics and probability theory.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Course approval is based on satisfactory completion of the exercise sets.

  • Assessment

    Four hour written exam. The exam can be answered both in English and Norwegian.

  • Grading Scale

    A - F

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    "Economic and Financial Decisions under Risk," Princeton University Press 2005. Authors: Eckhoudt, Gollier and Schlesinger. Articles are distributed via Canvas.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Not offered spring 2021.

Course responsible

Professor Svein-Arne Persson, Department of Finance, NHH.

Lectures will also be given by Helge Nordahl, vice president in Gard and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Management Science and Business Economics.