Risk management regulation and corporate demand for reinsurance in the Spanish Autarky (1940-1952)





Insurance, Risk Management, Reinsurance, Regulation, Spain


This paper examines the changes to reinsurance regulation implemented during the Spanish autarky to analyze how the restriction of imports of financial services affects the performance of the insurance and risk management industry. We build a novel dataset on domestic insurers and reinsurers to identify the effects of the barriers to purchasing foreign reinsurance on corporate strategies and ultimately, on the determinants of reinsurance demand. We find that, in spite of a chronic dependence on foreign risk exchange networks, Spanish insurers faced this period of isolation by means of an intensive use of captive reinsurance. This strategy helped to alleviate financial distress and resulted in the substitution of foreign reinsurers by domestic companies, as far as the restrictive regulation was in force.



Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Pablo Gutiérrez González, Universidad de Sevilla

Profesor Ayudante Doctor

Departamento de Economía e Historia económica

Jerònia Pons Pons, Universidad de Sevilla

Catedrática de Universidad

Departamento de Economía e Historia económica


Adams, M. 1996. ‘The reinsurance decision in life insurance firms: An empirical test of the risk-bearing hypothesis’, Accounting and Finance, 36 (1): 15-30.

Adams, M., P. Hardwick and H. Zou. 2008. “Reinsurance and corporate taxation in the United Kingdom life insurance industry’, Journal of Banking and Finance, 32 (1): 101-115.

Adams, M., L.F. Andersson, M. Lindmark and E. Veprauskaite. 2012, ‘Competing models of organizational form: Risk management strategies and underwriting performance in the Swedish fire insurance market between 1903 and 1939’, Journal of Economic History, 72 (4): 990-1014.

Adiel, R. 1996. ‘Reinsurance and the management of regulatory ratios and taxes in the property-casualty insurance industry’, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 22: 207-240.

Altuntas, M., J. Garven and J. Rauch. 2018. ‘On the corporate demand for insurance: evidence from the global reinsurance market’, Risk Management and Insurance Review, 21 (2): 211-242.

Beckman, R.W., and R.N. Tremelling. 1972. ‘The relationship between net Premium written and policyholder surplus’, Proceedings of the Casualty Actuarial Society, 59 (111-2): 203-220.

Blazenko, G. 1986. ‘The Economics of Reinsurance”, Journal of Risk and Insurance, 53 (2). 258-277.

Capie, F. 2016. ‘The monetary and financial environment, 1860-2013. In Managing risk in reinsurance. From city fires to global warming, edited by N.V. Haueter and G. Jones, 92-117. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Carreras, A., and X. Tafunell, eds. 2005. Estadísticas históricas de España. Siglos XIX-XX. Madrid: Fundación BBVA.

Caruana de las Cagigas, L. 2017. ‘The development of Spanish reinsurance from 1940 to the present day’. In Highlights on Reinsurance History, edited by A. Straus and L. Caruana de las Cagigas, 135-152. Bruxelles : Peter Lang.

Cavalieri, E. 2014. España y el FMI: la integración de la economía española en el Sistema Monetario Internacional, 1943-1959. Madrid: Banco de España.

Cole, C.R., and K.A. McCullough. 2006. ‘A Reexamination of the Corporate Demand for Insurance”, The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 73 (1): 169-192.

Comín Comín, F. 2013. ‘Las crisis de la deuda: el largo camino recorrido desde los impagos a la gestión responsable’. In Las crisis financieras en la España contemporánea, 1850-2012, edited by P. Martín-Aceña, P., E. Martínez Ruiz and M.A. Pons Brías, 197-240. Barcelona: Crítica, Barcelona, 197-240.

Deelstra, G., and G. Plantin. 2014. Risk theory and reinsurance. London: Routledge.

Egido León, A. 2005. ‘Franco y la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Una neutralidad comprometida’, Ayer, 57 (1): 103-124.

Fohlin, C. 2006. Finance capitalism and Germany’s rise of industrial power. Cambridge: University Press, New York.

García Ruiz, J.L., and L. Caruana de las Cagigas. 2009. ‘La internacionalización del seguro español en el siglo XX’, Revista de Historia Industrial, 41 (3): 17-48.

Garven, J.R., and J. Lamm-Tennant. 2003. ‘The demand for reinsurance: theory and empirical tests’, Insurance and Risk Management, 7 (3). 217-237.

Gerathewohl, K. 1993. Reaseguro: Teoría y Práctica. Madrid: Reaseguros Gil y Carvajal.

Gutiérrez González, P. 2014. El control de divisas durante el primer franquismo. La intervención del reaseguro (1940-1952). Madrid: Banco de España.

— 2017. ‘El mercado reasegurador en España (1870-1952). Estrategias empresariales, prácticas financieras e iniciativas de control público’. Doctoral thesis, Seville: University of Seville.

Gutiérrez González, P., and J. Pons Pons. 2017. ‘Risk management and reinsurance strategies in the Spanish insurance market (1880-1940)’, Business History, 59 (2): 292-310.

Gutiérrez González, P., and L.F. Andersson. 2018. ‘Managing financial constraints. Undercapitalization and underwriting capacity in Spanish fire insurance’, The Economic History Review, 71 (2). 567-592.

Harold, J., P. Borscheid, D. Gugerli, and T. Strautmann. 2013. The value of risk. Swiss Re and the history of reinsurance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kader, H.A., M. Adams, L.F. Andersson and M. Lindmark. 2010. ‘The determinants of reinsurance in the Swedish property fire insurance market during the interwar years, 1919-39’, Business History 52 (2): 268-284.

Larsson, M., and M. Lonnborg. 2014. SCOR Sweden RE. 100 years of Swedish (re)Insurance industry. Stockholm: Dialogos.

Liljegren, J. 2019. ‘Networks that organised competition. Corporate resources sharing between Swedish property underwriters 1875-1950’. Doctoral thesis, Umea: University of Umea.

Maluquer de Motes, J. 2016. España en la economía mundial. Madrid: Instituto de Estudios Económicos.

Martín-Aceña, P. 1987. ‘Desarrollo y modernización del sistema financiero, 1844-1935. In La modernización económica de España, edited by N. Sánchez Albornoz, 121-146. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.

— 1993. ‘Spain during the classical Gold Standard years, 1880-1914’. In Monetary regimes in transition, edited by M. Bordo and F. Capie, 135-172. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Martínez Ruiz, E. 2003. El sector exterior durante la autarquía. Una reconstrucción de las balanzas de pagos de España (1940-1958). Madrid: Banco de España.

— 2013. ‘Papel mojado. Crisis inflacionarias’. In Crisis económicas en España. 1300-2012: lecciones de la historia, edited by F. Comín Comín and M. Hernández Benítez, 203-226. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.

Mayers, D., and C.W. Smith. 1982. ‘On the corporate demand for insurance’, Journal of Business, 55: 281-296.

— 1990. ‘On the corporate demand for insurance: evidence from the reinsurance market’, Journal of Business, 63: 19-40.

Mizruchi, M.S. 1996. ‘What do interlocks do? An analysis, critique and assessment of research on interlocking directorates’. Annual Review of Sociology, 22. 271-298.

Nebel, R. 2002. ‘The case for liberal reinsurance regulation’, The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, 27 (1): 113-121.

Outreville, J.F. 1995. ‘Reinsurance in developing countries”, Journal of Reinsurance 2 (3): 42-51.

Pearson, R. 1995. ‘The development of reinsurance markets in Europe during the nineteenth century’, Journal of European Economic History, 24 (3): 557-572.

— 2012. ‘United Kingdom: Pioneering insurance internationally’. In World Insurance. The evolution of a global risk network, edited by P. Borscheid and N.V. Haueter, 67-97. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

— 2016. ‘The evolution of the industry structure’. In Managing risk in reinsurance. From city fires to global warming, edited by N.V. Haueter and G. Jones, 70-91. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Petersson, G.J. 2011. ‘Insurance and cartels through wars and depressions. Swedish marine insurance and reinsurance between the World Wars’. Doctoral thesis, Umea: University of Umea.

Plantin, G. 2006. ‘Does reinsurance need reinsurers?”, Journal of Risk and Insurance, 73: 153-168.

Pons Pons, J. 2002. ‘Las estrategias de crecimiento de las compañías de seguros en España 1900-1940’, Working Paper 2002/1. Fundación Empresa Pública. Programa de Historia Económica.

— 2003. ‘Diversificación y Cartelización en el seguro español 1914-1935’, Revista de Historia Económica, 21 (3): 67-92.

— 2007a. ‘The influence of foreign companies in the organization of the Spanish Insurance market: diversification and cartelisation 1880-1939’. In Internationalisation and Globalisation of the Insurance Industry in the 19th and 20th Centuries, edited by P. Borscheid and R. Pearson, 49-65. Zurich: Philipps-University and Swiss Re Corporate History.

— 2007b. Mutua General de Seguros (1907-2007). Cien años de historia del seguro español, Unpublished document.

— 2010. ‘The difficulties of Spanish Insurance companies to modernise during the Franco years. The mechanisation of administrative tasks (1950-1970)’. In The development of international Insurance, edited by R. Pearson, 63-101. London: Pickering and Chatto.

— 2012. ‘Spain: International influence on the domestic insurance market’. In World Insurance. The evolution of a global risk network, edited by P. Borscheid and N.V. Haueter, 189-212. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

— 2015. ‘Support for mutual insurance companies during the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975’. in Corporate forms and organizational choice in international insurance, edited by R. Pearson and T. Yoneyama, 193-216. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

— 2017. ‘Los Hermanos Rosillo’. In Cien empresarios madrileños, edited by E. Torres, 356-362. Madrid: LID Editorial.

Powell, L.S., and D.W. Somner. 2007. ‘Internal versus external capital markets in the Insurance industry: the role of insurance’, Journal of Financial Services Research, 31 (3): 173-188.

Prados de la Escosura, L. 2017. Spanish Economic Growth 1850-2015. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Mc-Millan.

Rubio, J.A., and J. Garrués. 2016. ‘Economic and social power in Spain: corporate networks of banks, utilities and other large companies (1917-2009)’, Business History, 58 (6): 858-879.

Tortella, G. , L. Caruana de las Cagigas, J.L. García Ruiz, A. Manzano and J. Pons Pons. 2014. Historia del seguro en España. Madrid: Fundación MAPFRE.

Vec, Milos. 2016. ‘Reinsurance Law as an autonomous regulatory regime? Resistance to codification and avoidance of State jurisdiction in the Twentieth century’. In Managing risk in reinsurance. From city fires to global warming, edited by N.V. Haueter and G. Jones, 206-229. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zappino, J.S. 2007. El Instituto Mixto Argentino de Reaseguros: La formación de un mercado nacional de seguros (1946-1952). Buenos Aires: Ediciones Cooperativas.