SESSION 10. The risk economy and the dimension of uncertainty: forms of sharing and investment opportunities in the modern and contemporary age

10. The risk economy and the dimension of uncertainty: forms of sharing and investment opportunities in the modern and contemporary age.

Amedeo Lepore (Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli). amedeo.lepore2@unicampania.it
Serena Potito (Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope). serena.potito@uniparthenope.it
Potito Quercia (Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro). potito.quercia@uniba.it


The contribution to be proposed to the Scientific Committee of the next International Conference about Risk and the Insurance Business in History, wants to deepen two aspects of the insurance environment: the risk economy and the purposes of participation in the market of insurance policies by individuals or companies. The analysis will be conducted both with reference to the period in which the insurance contract was stipulated between individual economic subjects (late medieval and early modern age), and to the next phase which, on the other hand, sees the birth and the emergence of insurance companies and the expansion of the insurance offer. The survey covers the main insurance markets in the Mediterranean area, in particular those operating in Italy. In essence, the contribution aims to demonstrate, with empirical research, how the insurance has represented, depending on the historical phases and the type of organization of the market, an indispensable tool for sharing the risk in front of the irresolution of economic events, but also an attractive operation of capital investment.

The essay is divided in three parts. The first analyzes the character and the socio-economic implications of risk, its evolution over the long term and the close correlation between uncertainty, insurance practices, phases of expansion and development of the economy. In the second part, on the other hand, the goal is to deepen, through the use of unpublished archive sources and the critical analysis of the research conducted to date, the study of the different purposes and the multiple forms of participation in the insurance deal by individuals or groups of insurers. To this end, with regard to the early modern age, we will proceed to analyze for some areas the individual positions of insured and insurers and, more generally, of the socio-economic components of the insurance policy market. In the third part, the analysis on risk sharing and insurance investments is developed with reference to the contemporary age, addressing important issues in the mutual insurance companies and the various Italian companies in the sector in question, up to the involvement of the State in safeguarding the economic interests of the various social partners, expanding the concept of social security and, at the same time, increasing the importance of its central role as an investor in the Italian economy. In particular, with regard to the forms of risk sharing, it will be possible to understand how some mercantile communities in modern age, thanks to the involvement of the various components of the economic and civil system, have adopted innovative measures designed to counteract situations of extreme criticality, reflecting strategic socialization phenomena. We will also try to investigate the extent to which the participation of the various socio-professional groups in the insurance market has led to various types of associations, aimed at countering obstacles to the regular progress of business activities and trades.

With regard to the investment opportunities that the policy market offers to private individuals or companies, the contribution goes in two directions, depending on the type of organization on which the market was founded. Until the conclusion of the contract involved one or more individual insurers, and the insurance forms have affected almost exclusively maritime transport, the investment was considered as an alternative form of invested capital, or as a reason for co-participation aimed at countering the risks by sea. When, however, the organization and management of the insurance sector evolved, the analysis of investments concerned, first, the social structure and, secondly, the investments of the insurance companies aimed at creating reserves necessary to guarantee, especially in the life business, the financial commitments assumed in the contract.