American Risk and Insurance Association — Founded in 1932

Witt Awards

The American Risk and Insurance Association presents the Robert C. Witt Award each year for the article published the previous calendar year in The Journal of Risk and Insurance judged to be the best by an independent committee of experts.


Greg Niehaus
Greg Niehaus

The recipient of the 2019 Witt Award is Greg Niehaus for “Managing Capital by Internal Capital Market Transactions: The Case of Life Insurers,” March 2018, Volume 85, Issue 1, pages 69-106.


The movement of capital within insurance groups is important for understanding insolvency risk management, as well as regulatory policies regarding capital standards and group supervision. Panel data estimates indicate that, on average, a dollar decrease in performance (net income plus unrealized capital gains) when performance is negative is associated with a $0.26 increase in capital contributions to life insurers from other entities in the group, and that a dollar increase in performance when performance is positive is associated with a $0.56 increase in the amount of internal shareholder dividends paid by life insurers to other entities in the group. Moreover, the sensitivity of internal dividends to performance is higher during the financial crisis than the noncrisis period. Also, insurers with low (high) risk‐based capital ratios receive more (less) internal capital contributions than other insurers, holding other factors constant.

Archive of Witt Award Winners

  • 2019 Robert C. Witt Award

    2019: Greg Niehaus for Managing Capital by Internal Capital Market Transactions: The Case of Life Insurers.

  • 2018 Robert C. Witt Award

    Carole Bernard, Ludger Rüschendorf, and Steven Vanduffel for Value-at-Risk Bounds with Variance Constraints.

  • 2017 Robert C. Witt Award

    Jeffrey R. Brown, Arie Kapteyn, and Olivia S. Mitchell for Framing and Claiming: How Information-Framing Affects Expected Social Security Claiming Behavior.

  • 2016 Robert C. Witt Award

    Casey Rothschild for Non-Exclusivity, Linear Pricing, and Annuity Market Screening.

  • 2015 Robert C. Witt Award

    J. David Cummins and Mary A. Weiss for Systemic Risk and the U.S. Insurance Sector.

  • 2014 Robert C. Witt Award

    Alex Boulatov and Stephan Dieckmann for The Risk-Sharing Implications of Disaster Insurance Funds.

  • 2013 Robert C. Witt Award

    Antonie Bommier and Bertrand Villeneuve for Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life.

  • 2012 Robert C. Witt Award

    Casey Rothschild for The Efficiency of Categorical Discrimination in Insurance Markets.

  • 2011 Robert C. Witt Award

    Alma Cohen and Peter Siegelman for Testing for Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets.

  • 2010 Robert C. Witt Award

    Arthur Snow for On the Possibility of Profitable Self-Selection Contracts in Competitive Insurance Markets.

  • 2009 Robert C. Witt Award

    Pierre Picard for Natural Disaster Insurance and the Equity-Efficiency Trade-Off.

  • 2008 Robert C. Witt Award

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

  • 2007 Robert C. Witt Award

    Ignacio Moreno, Francisco Vazquez, and Richard Watt for Can Bonus-Malus Alleviate Insurance Fraud?

  • 2006 Robert C. Witt Award

    Neil Doherty and Kent Smetters for Moral Hazard in Reinsurance Markets.

  • 2005 Robert C. Witt Award

    Patrick L. Brockett, Ray E. Chang, John J. Rousseau, John H. Semple, and Chuanhou Yang for A Comparison of HMO Efficiencies as a Function of Provider Autonomy.

  • 2004 Robert C. Witt Award

    Louis Eeckhoudt, Olivier Mahul, and John Moran for Fixed Reimbursement Insurance: Basic Properties & Comparative Statics.

  • 2003 Robert C. Witt Award

    Steven Boyce and Richard Ippolito for The Cost of Pension Insurance.

  • 2002 Robert C. Witt Award

    Christian Gollier and Louis Eeckhoudt for Which Shape for the Cost Curve of Risk?

  • 2001 Robert C. Witt Award

    There was a tie for the Witt award in 2001: Stewart Myers and James Read, Jr. for Capital Allocation for Insurance Companies, and Kent Smetters for The Equivalence Between State Contingent Tax Policy and Options and Forwards: An Application to Investing the Social Security Trust Fund in Equities.

  • 2000 Robert C. Witt Award

    Krupa Subramanian, Jean Lemaire, John C. Hershey, Mark V. Pauly, Katrina Armstrong, and David A. Asch for Estimating Adverse Selection Costs from Genetic Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer: The Case of Life Insurance.