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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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References

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  1. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2007. "Consumption risk, technology adoption, and poverty traps : evidence from Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4257, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Petia Topalova & Shawn Cole & Xavier Gene & Jeremy Tobacman & Robert Townsend & James Vickery, 2011. "Barriers to Household Risk Management: Evidence from India," Working Papers id:4293, eSocialSciences.
  4. Hongbin Cai & Yuyu Chen & Hanming Fang & Li-An Zhou, 2009. "Microinsurance, Trust and Economic Development: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Gine, Xavier & Yang, Dean, 2007. "Insurance, credit, and technology adoption : field experimental evidence from Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4425, The World Bank.
  8. Dercon, Stefan, 1998. "Wealth, risk and activity choice: cattle in Western Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-42, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Murillo Campello & Chen Lin & Yue Ma & Hong Zou, 2011. "The Real and Financial Implications of Corporate Hedging," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(5), pages 1615-1647, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Xavier Giné & Robert Townsend & James Vickery, 2007. "Statistical Analysis of Rainfall Insurance Payouts in Southern India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1248-1254.
  13. Seema Jayachandran, 2005. "Selling Labor Low: Wage Responses to Productivity Shocks in Developing Countries," UCLA Economics Online Papers 370, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. Campbell, John, 2006. "Household Finance," Scholarly Articles 3157877, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. Sharon L. Maccini & Dean Yang, 2008. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," NBER Working Papers 14031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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).
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Sumit Agarwal & John C Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2007. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001752, UCLA Department of Economics.
  23. 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.
  24. Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," NBER Working Papers 4084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
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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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