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Reducing the Social Cost of Federal Crop Insurance: A Role for US Government Hedging with Weather Derivatives

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  • Chung, Wonho

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that weather derivatives are an effective means of hedging agricultural production risk. Yet, it is still unclear what role weather derivatives will play in agriculture as a risk management tool as compared with existing crop insurance programs which depend highly on government subsidies. This study compares the hedging cost and effectiveness of weather options and crop insurance for soybean in southern Minnesota. Our results show that the hedging effectiveness of weather options is limited at the farm level while the effectiveness increases as the level of aggregation increases. Thus, individual farmers will continue to prefer the federal crop insurance program to weather derivatives for their production risk management. However, the US government as an insurer, which currently does not hedge its risk exposures taken from farmers in the federal crop insurance program, could reduce the implied social cost in the form of un-hedged risk exposure by use of the weather options in the financial market.

Suggested Citation

  • Chung, Wonho, 2013. "Reducing the Social Cost of Federal Crop Insurance: A Role for US Government Hedging with Weather Derivatives," Journal of Rural Development/Nongchon-Gyeongje, Korea Rural Economic Institute, vol. 0(Issue 2), pages 1-26, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jordng:175745
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/175745/files/36_2_1.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wei Xu & Guenther Filler & Martin Odening & Ostap Okhrin, 2010. "On the systemic nature of weather risk," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 70(2), pages 267-284, August.
    2. Tannura, Michael A. & Irwin, Scott H. & Good, Darrel L., 2008. "Weather, Technology, and Corn and Soybean Yields in the U.S. Corn Belt," Marketing and Outlook Research Reports 37501, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
    3. Richards, Timothy J. & Manfredo, Mark R. & Sanders, Dwight R., 2004. "Pricing Weather Derivatives," Working Papers 28536, Arizona State University, Morrison School of Agribusiness and Resource Management.
    4. Charles E. Hyde & James A. Vercammen, 1997. "Costly Yield Verification, Moral Hazard, And Crop Insurance Contract Form," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1-3), pages 393-407.
    5. Vedenov, Dmitry V. & Barnett, Barry J., 2004. "Efficiency of Weather Derivatives as Primary Crop Insurance Instruments," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-17, December.
    6. Dwight R. Sanders, 2004. "Pricing Weather Derivatives," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1005-1017.
    7. Woodard, Joshua D. & Garcia, Philip, 2008. "Weather Derivatives, Spatial Aggregation, and Systemic Risk: Implications for Reinsurance Hedging," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-18, April.
    8. Philippe Jorion, 1988. "On Jump Processes in the Foreign Exchange and Stock Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(4), pages 427-445.
    9. Martin Odening & Oliver Musshoff & Wei Xu, 2007. "Analysis of rainfall derivatives using daily precipitation models: opportunities and pitfalls," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 67(1), pages 135-156, May.
    10. Mario J. Miranda & Joseph W. Glauber, 1997. "Systemic Risk, Reinsurance, and the Failure of Crop Insurance Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 206-215.
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    Keywords

    Agricultural and Food Policy;

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