Zenan Wu

School of Economics
Peking University
Beijing, China

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Institutional Affiliation: Peking University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020Confidence Management in Tournaments
with Shanglyu Deng, Hanming Fang, Qiang Fu: w27186
An incumbent employee competes against a new hire for bonus or promotion. The incumbent’s ability is commonly known, while that of the new hire is private information. The incumbent is subject to a perceptional bias: His prior about the new hire’s type differs from the true underlying distribution. He can be either ex ante overconfident or underconfident. We first explore whether a firm that aims to maximize aggregate effort would benefit or suffer from the bias. It is shown that debiasing may not be productive in incentivizing efforts. We then study the optimal information disclosure policy. The firm is allowed to ex ante commit to whether an informative signal—which allows the incumbent to infer the new hire’s type—will be disclosed publicly. We fully characterize the conditions under wh...
March 2017Life Insurance and Life Settlement Markets with Overconfident Policyholders
with Hanming Fang: w23286
We analyze how the life settlement market – the secondary market for life insurance – may affect consumer welfare in a dynamic equilibrium model of life insurance with one-sided commitment and overconfident policyholders. As in Daily et al. (2008) and Fang and Kung (2010), policyholders may lapse their life insurance policies when they lose their bequest motives; but in our model the policyholders may underestimate their probability of losing their bequest motive, or be overconfident about their future mortality risks. For the case of overconfidence with respect to bequest motives, we show that in the absence of life settlement overconfident consumers may buy “too much” reclassification risk insurance for later periods in the competitive equilibrium. In contrast, when consumers are overcon...
October 2016Multidimensional Private Information, Market Structure and Insurance Markets
with Hanming Fang: w22773
A large empirical literature found that the correlation between insurance purchase and ex post realization of risk is often statistically insignificant or negative. This is inconsistent with the predictions from the classic models of insurance a la Akerlof (1970), Pauly (1974) and Rothschild and Stiglitz (1976) where consumers have one-dimensional heterogeneity in their risk types. It is suggested that selection based on multidimensional private information, e.g., risk and risk preference types, may be able to explain the empirical findings. In this paper, we systematically investigate whether selection based on multidimensional private information in risk and risk preferences, can, under different market structures, result in a negative correlation in equilibrium between insurance coverag...

Published: Hanming Fang & Zenan Wu, 2018. "Multidimensional private information, market structure, and insurance markets," The RAND Journal of Economics, vol 49(3), pages 751-787. citation courtesy of

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