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How does risk management influence production decisions? evidence from a field experiment

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  • Cole, Shawn
  • Gine, Xavier
  • Vickery, James

Abstract

Weather is a key source of income risk for many firms and households, particularly in emerging market economies. This paper uses a randomized controlled trial approach to study how an innovative risk management instrument for hedging rainfall risk affects production decisions among a sample of Indian agricultural firms. The analysis finds that the provision of insurance induces farmers to shift production toward higher-return but higher-risk cash crops, particularly among more-educated farmers. The results support the view that financial innovation may help mitigate the real effects of uninsured production risk. In a second experiment, the study elicits willingness to pay for insurance policies that differ in their contract terms, using the Becker-DeGroot-Marshak mechanism. Willingness-to-pay is increasing in the actuarial value of the insurance, but substantially less than one-for-one, suggesting that farmers'valuations are inconsistent with a fully rational benchmark.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6546.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6546

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Keywords: Climate Change Economics; Labor Policies; Debt Markets; Insurance Law; Non Bank Financial Institutions;

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  1. Dercon, Stefan, 1998. "Wealth, risk and activity choice: cattle in Western Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-42, February.
  2. Yanbo Jin & Philippe Jorion, 2006. "Firm Value and Hedging: Evidence from U.S. Oil and Gas Producers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 893-919, 04.
  3. Seema Jayachandran, 2006. "Selling Labor Low: Wage Responses to Productivity Shocks in Developing Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 538-575, June.
  4. Russell L. Lamb, 2003. "Fertilizer Use, Risk, and Off-Farm Labor Markets in the Semi-Arid Tropics of India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 359-371.
  5. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
  6. Stefan Dercon & Luc Christiaensen, 2008. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: evidence from Ethiopia," WEF Working Papers 0035, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  7. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Gin, Xavier & Yang, Dean, 2009. "Insurance, credit, and technology adoption: Field experimental evidencefrom Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-11, May.
  9. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
  10. Lybbert, Travis J. & Galarza, Francisco B. & McPeak, John G. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Boucher, Stephen R. & Carter, Michael R. & Chantarat, Sommarat & Fadlaoui, Aziz & Mude, Andrew G., 2010. "Dynamic Field Experiments in Development Economics: Risk Valuation in Morocco, Kenya, and Peru," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 39(2), April.
  11. Xavier Gabaix & John C. Driscoll & David Laibson & Sumit Agarwal, 2008. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," 2008 Meeting Papers 322, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Gine, Xavier & Townsend, Robert & Vickery, James, 2007. "Statistical analysis of rainfall insurance payouts in southern India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4426, The World Bank.
  13. Dean Karlan & Robert Darko Osei & Isaac Osei-Akoto & Christopher Udry, 2012. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," NBER Working Papers 18463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Santosh Anagol & Shawn Cole & Shayak Sarkar, 2012. "Understanding the Advice of Commissions-Motivated Agents: Evidence from the Indian Life Insurance Market," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-055, Harvard Business School, revised Jan 2013.
  15. Shawn Cole & Thomas Sampson & Bilal Zia, 2011. "Prices or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1933-1967, December.
  16. Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Elaina Rose, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing and Excess Female Mortality in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 41-49, February.
  18. Murillo Campello & Chen Lin & Yue Ma & Hong Zou, 2010. "The Real and Financial Implications of Corporate Hedging," NBER Working Papers 16622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Shawn Cole & Xavier Giné & Jeremy Tobacman & Petia Topalova & Robert Townsend & James Vickery, 2009. "Barriers to household risk management: evidence from India," Staff Reports 373, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  20. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1993. " Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1629-58, December.
  21. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," NBER Working Papers 12149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
  23. Clarke, Daniel J. & Mahul, Olivier & Rao, Kolli N. & Verma, Niraj, 2012. "Weather based crop insurance in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5985, The World Bank.
  24. Kenneth A. Froot & Jeremy C. Stein, 1996. "Risk Management, Capital Budgeting and Capital Structure Policy for Financial Institutions: An Integrated Approach," NBER Working Papers 5403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Hongbin Cai & Yuyu Chen & Hanming Fang & Li-An Zhou, 2009. "Microinsurance, Trust and Economic Development: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Field Experiment," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-034, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  26. Hill, Ruth Vargas & Viceisza, Angelino, 2010. "An experiment on the impact of weather shocks and insurance on risky investment," IFPRI discussion papers 974, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  27. Allayannis, George & Weston, James P, 2001. "The Use of Foreign Currency Derivatives and Firm Market Value," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 243-76.
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Cited by:
  1. Alderman, Harold & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2013. "How can safety nets contribute to economic growth ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6437, The World Bank.

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