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Abstract

We examine the market's reaction to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's civil suit against mega-broker Marsh for bid rigging and inappropriate use of contingent commissions within a generalized autoregressive conditionally heteroskedastic (GARCH) framework. Effects on the stock returns of insurance brokers and insurers are tested. The findings are: (1) GARCH effects are significant in modeling broker/insurer returns; (2) the suit generated negative effects on the brokerage industry and individual brokers, suggesting that contagion dominates competitive effects; (3) spillover effects from the brokerage sector to insurance business are significant and mostly negative, demonstrating industry integration; and (4) information-based contagion is supported, as opposed to the pure-panic contagion.