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Risk Pooling, Risk Preferences, and Social Networks

  • Orazio Attanasio
  • Abigail Barr
  • Juan Camilo Cardenas
  • Garance Genicot
  • Costas Meghir

Using data from an experiment conducted in 70 Colombian communities, we investigate who pools risk with whom when trust is crucial for enforcing risk pooling arrangements. We explore the roles played by risk attitudes and social networks. Both empirically and theoretically, we find that close friends and relatives group assortatively on risk attitudes and are more likely to join the same risk pooling group, while unfamiliar participants group less and rarely assort. These findings indicate that where there are advantages to grouping assortatively on risk attitudes those advantages may be inaccessible when trust is absent or low. (JEL C93, O12, O18, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 134-67

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:134-67
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.2.134
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    • Francis Bloch (GREQAM and Universite de la Mediterranee), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University, and Debraj Ray (New York University and Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)), 2004. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-16, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
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  17. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  18. Sergio Currarini & Paolo Pin & Matthew O. Jackson, 2007. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities and Segregation," Working Papers 2007_20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
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  22. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2007. "Beauty Is a Beast, Frog Is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1073-1102, 07.
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