Is a Friend in Need a Friend Indeed? Inclusion and Exclusion in Mutual Insurance Networks in Southern Ghana
AbstractMutual insurance has been shown, theoretically and empirically, to be incomplete and limited by asymmetric information and lack of enforcement mechanisms. While some research has shown that networks based on kinship, neighborhood and ethnicity may provide a locus of insurance and thus a way of overcoming these problems, these studies are not fine enough to predict the inclusion and exclusion of individuals. Using data from rural Ghana, we examine the role of social relations in obtaining assistance in the face of shocks. We examine this at both the intra-household and community levels. At the household level, asking for and receiving assistance from the spouse is related to gender, the quality of the marital relationship, and the wealth of household members. At the community level, asking for and receiving help are correlated with membership in a major lineage, participation in secular organizations, the individual's fostering history, and anticipated land inheritance. We also show that these factors differ depending on whether the shortfall was for a household or personal item (as perceived by the respondent). This work helps us to identify individuals who are more likely to fall outside of mutual insurance networks and require interventions to help them cope with risk.
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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2003
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household models; insurance; risk; social aspects; villages;
Other versions of this item:
- Markus Goldstein & Elisabeth Sadoulet & Alain de Janvry, 2002. "Is a Friend in Need a Friend Indeed? Inclusion and Exclusion in Mutual Insurance Networks in Southern Ghana," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 32, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Goldstein, Markus & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2003. "Is a friend in need a friend indeed? Inclusion and exclusion in mutual insurance networks in southern Ghana," CUDARE Working Paper Series 978, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
- Goldstein, Markus & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2002. "Is a Friend in Need a Friend Indeed? Inclusion and Exclusion in Mutual Insurance Networks in Southern Ghana," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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