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Index Insurance: Using Public Data to Benefit Small-Scale Agriculture

Author

Listed:
  • Castillo, Maria Jose
  • Boucher, Stephen
  • Carter, Michael

Abstract

This paper highlights the importance of public data for the development of more efficient and sustainable risk management schemes, such as index insurance, for smallholder agriculture. Three case studies of index insurance—catastrophic weather insurance in Mexico, satellite-based insurance for pastoralists in Kenya, and a hypothetical area-yield insurance scheme in Ecuador—are briefly analyzed in terms of the data and type of index used, the way the contract was designed and implemented (or simulated) and the impacts of the insurance on investment, nutrition and income smoothing. The increasing opportunity to use big data for improving and expanding index insurance is also addressed. The analysis suggests that the strong potential for index insurance to improve the welfare of small farmers represents a clear justification for increased government investment in the collection of the types of data that can facilitate the expansion of index insurance markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Castillo, Maria Jose & Boucher, Stephen & Carter, Michael, 2016. "Index Insurance: Using Public Data to Benefit Small-Scale Agriculture," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-22, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ifaamr:240698
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/240698/files/520150132.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dean Karlan & Robert Osei & Isaac Osei-Akoto & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 597-652.
    2. Alan Fuchs & Hendrik Wolff, 2011. "Concept and Unintended Consequences of Weather Index Insurance: The Case of Mexico," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 505-511.
    3. Karlan, Dean S. & Udry, Christopher R. & Osei-Akoto, Isaac & Osei, Robert, 2012. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," Center Discussion Papers 139887, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    4. Hans P. Binswanger-Mkhize, 2012. "Is There Too Much Hype about Index-based Agricultural Insurance?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 187-200, February.
    5. Carter, Michael R. & Galarza, Francisco & Boucher, Stephen, 2007. "Underwriting area-based yield insurance to crowd-in credit supply and demand," MPRA Paper 24326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Barnett, Barry J. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Skees, Jerry R., 2008. "Poverty Traps and Index-Based Risk Transfer Products," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1766-1785, October.
    7. Stephen R. Boucher & Michael R. Carter & Catherine Guirkinger, 2008. "Risk Rationing and Wealth Effects in Credit Markets: Theory and Implications for Agricultural Development," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), pages 409-423.
    8. Boucher, Stephen R. & Carter, Michael R. & Guirkinger, Catherine, 2008. "AJAE Appendix: Risk Rationing and Wealth Effects in Credit Markets: Theory and Implications for Agriculture Development," American Journal of Agricultural Economics APPENDICES, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 1-6.
    9. Gunnar Breustedt & Raushan Bokusheva & Olaf Heidelbach, 2008. "Evaluating the Potential of Index Insurance Schemes to Reduce Crop Yield Risk in an Arid Region," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 312-328, June.
    10. Sonka, Steve, 2014. "Big Data and the Ag Sector: More than Lots of Numbers," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 0(Issue 1), pages 1-20, February.
    11. Mario J. Miranda, 1991. "Area-Yield Crop Insurance Reconsidered," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 73(2), pages 233-242.
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