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Making a Market for Acts of God
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Making a Market for Acts of God: The Practice of Risk Trading in the Global Reinsurance Industry

Paula Jarzabkowski, Rebecca Bednarek, and Paul Spee


Reinsurance is financial market trading in the risk of unpredictable and devastating disasters—e.g. Hurricane Katrina or the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami—that are increasing in frequency, severity, and cost. Reinsurance insures insurance companies, enabling them to pay claims arising from their losses; a market mechanism that provide a critical social and economic safety net. To demonstrate how risk is calculated and traded globally, this book uses real-life tales from an ethnographic, “fly-on-the-wall” study of the global reinsurance industry over three annual cycles. Underwriters were shado ... More

Keywords: reinsurance, financial markets, risk transfer, social practice theory, evaluation, statistical modeling, opportunism and restraint, market coordination, relationality, global ethnography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199664764
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664764.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paula Jarzabkowski, author
Professor, Cass Business School, City University London

Rebecca Bednarek, author
Research Fellow, Cass Business School, City University London

Paul Spee, author
Senior Lecturer, Queensland University