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Innovations in Index Insurance for the Poor in Lower Income Countries

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  • Skees, Jerry R.
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    Abstract

    This article focuses on innovation in weather insurance designed to fit the special circum-stances of the poor in lower income countries where rural and agricultural financial markets are largely underdeveloped. Index insurance is an innovation that circumvents many of the fundamental problems that hamper the development of insurance for weather risks in lower in-come countries. With index insurance, payments are made based upon an objective and inde-pendent index that serves as a proxy for significant losses to crops, livestock, or other prop-erty. For example, the index can be based upon extreme rainfall measures that create either drought or flooding. Weather stations or even satellite imagery coupled with computer models can be used to create reliable “indexes†as the basis of payments. This article reviews this innovation by providing the background for its development and the motivation for using the innovation for the poor.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/44733
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association in its journal Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:44733

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    Web page: http://www.narea.org/
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    Related research

    Keywords: index insurance; financial innovation for the poor; weather insurance; correlated risk; poverty trap; ex ante risk managemen; Risk and Uncertainty;

    References

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    1. Barnett, Barry J. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Skees, Jerry R., 2008. "Poverty Traps and Index-Based Risk Transfer Products," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1766-1785, October.
    2. Dercon, Stefan, 1996. "Risk, Crop Choice, and Savings: Evidence from Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 485-513, April.
    3. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Binswanger, Hans P, 1993. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 56-78, January.
    4. Carter, Michael R. & Little, Peter D. & Mogues, Tewodaj & Negatu, Workneh, 2007. "Poverty Traps and Natural Disasters in Ethiopia and Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 835-856, May.
    5. Jerry R. Skees, 1999. "Opportunities for Improved Efficiency in Risk Sharing Using Capital Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1228-1233.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kellner, Ulla & Musshoff, Oliver, 2011. "Precipitation or water capacity indices? An analysis of the benefits of alternative underlyings for index insurance," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(8), pages 645-653, October.
    2. Turvey, Calum G. & Kong, Rong & Belltawn, Burgen, 2009. "Weather Risk and the Viability of Weather Insurance In Western China," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49362, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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