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Insurance and rural welfare: what can panel data tell us?

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  • Chris Elbers
  • Jan Willem Gunning
  • Lei Pan

Abstract

Assessing the scope for insurance in rural communities usually requires a structural model of household behaviour under risk. One of the few empirical applications of such models is the study by Rosenzweig and Wolpin (1993) who conclude that Indian farmers in the ICRISAT villages would not benefit from the introduction of formal weather insurance. In this article we investigate how models such as theirs can be estimated from panel data on production and assets. We show that if assets can take only a limited number of values the coefficients of the model cannot be estimated with reasonable precision. We also show that this can affect the conclusion that insurance would not be welfare improving.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036840701367614
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 24 ()
Pages: 3093-3101

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:24:p:3093-3101

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  1. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2004. "Growth Regressions and Economic Theory," GE, Growth, Math methods 0408001, EconWPA.
  2. Evan Tanner, 1997. "Shifts in US savings: long-run asset accumulation versus consumption smoothing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 989-999.
  3. repec:dgr:uvatin:2002034 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning & Bill Kinsey, 2007. "Growth and Risk: Methodology and Micro Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 1-20.
  5. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
  6. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  7. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1993. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing, and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investment in Bullocks in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 223-44, April.
  8. Pushkar Maitra, 2001. "Is consumption smooth at the cost of volatile leisure? An investigation of rural India," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(6), pages 727-734.
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