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Is a Friend in Need a Friend Indeed? Inclusion and Exclusion in Mutual Insurance Networks in Southern Ghana

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  • Goldstein, Markus
  • de Janvry, Alain
  • Sadoulet, Elisabeth

Abstract

Mutual 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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Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt0d89m20g.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt0d89m20g

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Keywords: household models; insurance; risk; social aspects; villages;

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References

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  1. Martin Ravallion & Shubham Chaudhuri, 1997. "Risk and Insurance in Village India: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 171-184, January.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, . "Risk Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Working Papers 97014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  3. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
  4. Murgai, Rinku & Winters, Paul & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Janvry, Alain de, 2002. "Localized and incomplete mutual insurance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 245-274, April.
  5. Deaton, Angus, 1992. " Household Saving in LDCs: Credit Markets, Insurance and Welfare," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 253-73.
  6. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Are the poor less well insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 61-81, February.
  7. Ligon, Ethan, 1998. "Risk Sharing and Information in Village Economics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 847-64, October.
  8. Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 1998. "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," JCPR Working Papers 41, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  9. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  11. Grimard, Franque, 1997. "Household consumption smoothing through ethnic ties: evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 391-422, August.
  12. Kimball, Miles S, 1988. "Farmers' Cooperatives as Behavior Toward Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 224-32, March.
  13. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-74, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Isabel Fischer & Tina Beuchelt & Tom Dufhues & Gertrud Buchenrieder, 2010. "Risk management networks of ethnic minorities in Viet Nam," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 17(2), pages 83-118, December.
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00585968 is not listed on IDEAS

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