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Corporate Forms and Organizational Choice in International Insurance$
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Robin Pearson and Takau Yoneyama

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739005.001.0001

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Growth Performance and Organizational Forms

Growth Performance and Organizational Forms

The Case of Swedish Life Insurance, 1890–1950

Chapter:
(p.243) 11 Growth Performance and Organizational Forms
Source:
Corporate Forms and Organizational Choice in International Insurance
Author(s):

Magnus Lindmark

Lars Fredrik Andersson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739005.003.0011

In Swedish life insurance, mutual and stock insurers have competed since the late nineteenth century. Stock insurers were prime movers controlling the early market. After the establishment of the first mutual insurer in 1887, however, stock insurers lost substantial market share. By the mid-twentieth century, mutual insurers controlled 70 per cent of the life insurance market. In this chapter we explain how and why the mutual form was more successful than the stock organizational form in Swedish life insurance from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Our preliminary results show that mutuals were more successful than stock companies in attracting demand from the growing wage-labour population. By introducing the concept of industrial insurance and by keeping claims experiences low, mutual companies were able to efficiently expand their businesses and their market share.

Keywords:   life insurance, organizational form, firm growth, insurance history, Sweden

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