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Vulnerability and Responses to Risks in Rural India

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  • Raghbendra Jha
  • Woojin Kang
  • Hari K. Nagarajan
  • Kailash C. Pradhan

Abstract

Using ARIS/REDS data set for 2006 for rural India this paper models household vulnerability as expected utility and its components. We conclude, first, that between the years 1999 and 2006 household vulnerability is most explained by poverty and idiosyncratic components. Second, for risk coping strategy, households rely heavily on informal instrument such as their own saving, transfers or capital depletion. However, they also try to cope with covariate risks by participating in government programmes. Third, household consumption is highly covariate with income. This implies that existing informal insurance instruments are not sufficient to protect household consumption against income shocks. Fourth, a coping strategy using government programmes has vulnerability (idiosyncratic risk component) reducing effects. Finally, there is a strong case for the establishment of strong safety nets in Indian villages. The existing informal strategy is inadequate as a consumption insurance mechanism whereas government programmes are found to reduce vulnerability induced by idiosyncratic shocks. However, access to such programmes is highly constrained. The expansion of suitably designed government programs has the potential of protecting households efficiently from negative shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre in its series ASARC Working Papers with number 2013-12.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2013-12

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Keywords: Vulnerability as Expected Utility; Coping Strategy; Economic Growth; Social Safety nets;

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  1. Ligon, Ethan & Laura Schechter, 2002. "Measuring Vulnerability," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 128, Royal Economic Society.
  2. Raghbendra Jha & Katsushi S. Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2008. "Poverty, Undernutrition and Vulnerability in Rural India: Public Works versus Food Subsidy," ASARC Working Papers 2008-08, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  3. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2003. "Multivariate probit regression using simulated maximum likelihood," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2003 10, Stata Users Group.
  4. Canagarajah, P. Sudharshan & Siegel, Paul B. & Heitzmann, Karin, 2002. "Guidelines for assessing the sources of risk and vulnerability," Social Protection Discussion Papers 31372, The World Bank.
  5. Hoddinott, John & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2003. "Methods for microeconometric risk and vulnerability assessments," Social Protection Discussion Papers 29138, The World Bank.
  6. Bali Swain, Ranjula & Floro, Maria, 2010. "Reducing Vulnerability through Microfinance: Evidence from Indian Self Help Group Program," Working Paper Series 2010:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  7. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  8. Alwang, Jeffrey & Siegel, Paul B. & Jorgensen, Steen L., 2001. "Vulnerability : a view from different disciplines," Social Protection Discussion Papers 23304, The World Bank.
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