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Insurance and Rural Welfare: What Can Panel Data Tell Us?

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  • Chris Elbersa
  • Jan Willem Gunning
  • Lei Pan

Abstract

Assessing the scope for insurance in rural communities usually requires a structural model of household behavior 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 paper 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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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2007-13.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2007-13

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  1. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning & Bill Kinsey, 2003. "Growth and Risk: Methodology and Micro Evidence," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-068/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 19 Sep 2006.
  2. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1989. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investments in Bullocks in India," Bulletins 7487, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  3. 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.
  4. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2002. "Growth Regression and Economic Theory," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-034/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2002. "Growth Regression and Economic Theory," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-034/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. 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.
  7. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  8. 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.
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