American Risk and Insurance Association — Founded in 1932

Mehr Awards

The American Risk and Insurance Association presents the Robert I. Mehr Award each year for the paper published ten years ago in The Journal of Risk and Insurance that has best stood the test of time. The evaluation of the articles is made by the editorial board of JRI.

2020 Mehr Award:

portrait of Alma Cohen
Alma Cohen
portrait of Peter Siegelman
Peter Siegelman


The recipient of the 2020 Mehr Award is Alma Cohen and Peter Siegelman for “Testing for Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets.”



This article reviews and evaluates the empirical literature on adverse selection in insurance markets. We focus on empirical work that seeks to test the basic coverage–risk prediction of adverse selection theory—that is, that policyholders who purchase more insurance coverage tend to be riskier. The analysis of this body of work, we argue, indicates that whether such a correlation exists varies across insurance markets and pools of insurance policies. We discuss various reasons why a coverage–risk correlation may not be found in some pools of insurance policies. The presence of a coverage–risk correlation can be explained either by moral hazard or adverse selection, and we discuss methods for distinguishing between them. Finally, we review the evidence on learning by policyholders and insurers.

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Archive of Mehr Award Winners

  • 2019 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Scott Harrington for The Financial Crisis, Systemic Risk, and the Future of Insurance Regulation.

  • 2018 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Okmyung Bin, Jamie Brown Kruse, and Craig E. Landry for Flood Hazards, Insurance Rates, and Amenities:  Evidence From the Coastal Housing Market.

  • 2017 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Kenneth A. Froot for Risk Management, Capital Budgeting, and Capital Structure Policy for Insurers and Reinsurers.

  • 2016 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Andrew J. G. Cairns, David Blake, and Kevin Dowd for A Two-Factor Model for Stochastic Mortality with Parameter Uncertainty: Theory and Calibration.

  • 2015 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Yijia Lin and Samuel H. Cox for Securitization of Mortality Risks in Life Annuities.

  • 2014 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Michael Braun and Alexander Muermann for The Impact of Regret on the Demand for Insurance.

  • 2013 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Jeffrey R. Brown for Redistribution and Insurance: Mandatory Annuitization with Mortality Heterogeneity.

  • 2012 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Anders Grosen and Peter Lochte Jorgensen for Life Insurance Liabilities at Market Value: An Analysis of Insolvency Risk.

  • 2011 Robert I. Mehr Award

    David Blake and William Burrows for Survivor Bonds: Helping to Hedge Mortality Risk.

  • 2010 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Shaun S. Wang for A Class of Distortion Operators for Pricing Financial and Insurance Risks.

  • 2009 Robert I. Mehr Award

    J. David Cummins, Martin F. Grace, and Richard D. Phillips for Regulatory Solvency Prediction in Property-Liability Insurance: Risk-Based Capital, Audit Ratios, and Cash Flow Simulation.

  • 2008 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Richard Phillips, J. David Cummins, and Franklin Allen for Financial Pricing of Insurance in the Multiple-Line Insurance Company.

  • 2007 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Dwight Jaffee and Thomas Russell for Catastrophe Insurance, Capital Markets, and Uninsurable Risks.

  • 2006 Robert I. Mehr Award

    David W. Sommer for The Impact of Firm Risk on Property-Liability Insurance Prices.

  • 2005 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Richard A. Derrig and Kryzysztof M. Ostaszewski for Fuzzy Techniques of Pattern Recognition in Risk and Claim Classification.

  • 2004 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Patrick L. Brockett, William W. Cooper, Linda L. Golden, and Utai Pitaktong for A Neural Network Method for Obtaining an Early Warning of Insurer Insolvency.

  • 2003 Robert I. Mehr Award

    There was a tie for the award in 2003: J. David Cummins and Mary A. Weiss for The Stochastic Dominance of No-Fault Automobile Insurance, and James R. Garven and Richard D. MacMinn for The Underinvestment Problem, Bond Covenants, and Insurance.

  • 2002 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Ran BarNiv and James B. McDonald for Identifying Financial Distress in the Insurance Industry: A Synthesis of Methodological and Empirical Issues.

  • 2001 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Richard J. Butler and John D. Worrall for Claims Reporting and Risk Bearing Moral Hazard in Workers’ Compensation.

  • 2000 Robert I. Mehr Award

    Richard D. MacMinn and Li-Ming Han for Limited Liability, Corporate Value, and the Demand for Liability Insurance.