The study of insurance fraud and its remedy is a hot topic of research, mainly because the problem of insurance fraud is so widespread. In the United States many state governments have setup agencies to combat fraud. These Insurance Fraud Bureaus (IFB) are typically established to gather information about potential fraudulent claims, and to advise prosecuting officers on the nature of each offense. This paper presents the conditions under which more fraud will be observed in an economy where an IFB conducts all audits than in an economy where each insurance company is responsible for its own investigation. Even if fraud increases, policyholders may be better off than in economy lacking an IFB. One unambiguous case where policyholders are always better is when the IFB conducts every investigation at a cost that is equal to the industry's average. The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory (2000) 25, 159–178. doi:10.1023/A:1008766413327
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