Agile Protection

This project, which commences in July 2018, will build upon the success of the Zurich-Oxford Income Protection Gap project (2015-2018) which examined the behavioural (bottom-up) and institutional (top-down) drivers of shortfalls in earned household income due to disability, illness, or the premature death of a breadwinner. We aim to achieve similar results in the Agile Protection project: the generation of robust, extensive original data in support of fresh, actionable policy recommendations with both global and tailored national relevance. We will also carry forward the Smith School's work on the shifting balance of financial responsibility from institutions to individuals and households.

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Income Protection Gap (2015-2018)

Loss of household income due to illness, disability, or premature death can be devastating. Under-insurance for unplanned interruptions in income is an important research topic as it manifests the inherent behavioural biases individuals can face when it comes to choosing insurance policies that protect their household income. At the same time, with governments around the world cutting back on social protection programmes, there is growing interest in the potential of employer- and household-sponsored schemes to this gap.

This project accordingly seeks to understand the specific macro- and micro-level drivers of under-protection. By considering equally underlying demographic and macroeconomic trends, the role of government and employers, and the behaviours associated with household financial decision-making, our research aims to derive fresh insights for behavioural economics and social protection policy alike.

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