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Optimal Risk Sharing Under Limited Commitment: Evidence From Rural Vietnam

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  • Eozenou, Patrick

Abstract

We use panel data from a household survey conducted in Vietnam to analyze the effectiveness of informal risk sharing arrangements in protecting household consumption from idiosyncratic income shocks. We focus on the effects of reported harvest shocks and of estimated shocks to agricultural revenues on adult equivalent consumption. The full-insurance allocation is tested against a specified alternative under which contracts are not fully enforceable ex-post. We find that farmers hit by unfavorable events stabilize their consumption level below the village aggregate level, irrespective of the level of realized shocks. At the same time, farmers experiencing more favorable shocks enjoy higher consumption in proportion to the realized value of idiosyncratic shocks. Together, these finding are consistent with a simple 2-period model of optimal risk sharing with one-sided limited commitment. These results hold for total consumption and for non-durable consumption. We also find however some evidence supporting the full insurance hypothesis for food consumption.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12688.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12688

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Keywords: Consumption; Risk-sharing; Informal Insurance; Vietnam;

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  1. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
  2. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
  3. Howard White, 2005. "Child Poverty in Vietnam: Using Adult Equivalence Scales to Estimate Income-Poverty for Different Age Groups," Development and Comp Systems 0504016, EconWPA.
  4. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  5. Attanasio, Orazio & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2000. "Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1225-1258, June.
  6. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
  7. 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.
  8. Ligon, Ethan & Thomas, Jonathan P & Worrall, Tim, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 209-44, January.
  9. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2003. "Risk Sharing and Public Transfers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C86-C94, March.
  10. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-47, February.
  11. Martin Ravallion & Shubham Chaudhuri, 1997. "Risk and Insurance in Village India: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 171-184, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Broer, Tobias, 2011. "The wrong shape of insurance? What cross-sectional distributions tell us about models of consumption-smoothing," CEPR Discussion Papers 8701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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