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Insuring Eggs in Baskets: Should the Government Insure Individual Risks?

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  • Chad E. Hart
  • Dermot J. Hayes
  • Bruce A. Babcock

Abstract

"The vast majority of crop and revenue insurance policies sold in North America are single-crop policies that insure against low yields or low revenues for each crop grown on a particular farm. This practice of insuring one crop at a time runs counter to the traditional risk management practice of diversifying across several enterprises to avoid putting all of one's eggs in a single basket. This paper examines the construction of a whole-farm crop revenue insurance program to include livestock price risk. The results show that at coverage levels of 95% or lower, the fair insurance premiums for this product on a well-diversified Iowa farm are far lower than the fair premiums for the corn crop alone on the same farm. The calculation of premium rates for the whole-farm insurance product is derived from a method for imposing correlations first proposed by Iman and Conover in 1982. The potential income transfer from crop insurance is also examined. We find that the income transfer due to the subsidization of single-commodity policies is greater than the total premium for whole-farm policies." Copyright 2006 Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad E. Hart & Dermot J. Hayes & Bruce A. Babcock, 2006. "Insuring Eggs in Baskets: Should the Government Insure Individual Risks?," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(1), pages 121-137, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:canjag:v:54:y:2006:i:1:p:121-137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chad E. Hart & Bruce A. Babcock & Dermot J. Hayes, 2001. "Livestock Revenue Insurance," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 553-580, June.
    2. Levy, Edmond, 1992. "Pricing European average rate currency options," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 474-491, October.
    3. David A. Hennessy & Bruce A. Babcock & Dermot J. Hayes, 1997. "Budgetary and Producer Welfare Effects of Revenue Insurance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 1024-1034.
    4. Babcock, Bruce A. & Blackmer, Alfred M., 1992. "The Value Of Reducing Temporal Input Nonuniformities," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(02), December.
    5. Richard E. Just & Quinn Weninger, 1999. "Are Crop Yields Normally Distributed?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(2), pages 287-304.
    6. Olivier Mahul & Brian D. Wright, 2003. "Designing Optimal Crop Revenue Insurance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 580-589.
    7. Keith H. Coble & Thomas O. Knight & Rulon D. Pope & Jeffery R. Williams, 1996. "Modeling Farm-Level Crop Insurance Demand with Panel Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(2), pages 439-447.
    8. Turnbull, Stuart M. & Wakeman, Lee Macdonald, 1991. "A Quick Algorithm for Pricing European Average Options," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(03), pages 377-389, September.
    9. Babcock, Bruce A. & Blackmer, A. M., 1992. "Value of Reducing Temporal Input Nonuniformities (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10587, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Bruce A. Babcock & David A. Hennessy, 1996. "Input Demand under Yield and Revenue Insurance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(2), pages 416-427.
    11. David A. Hennessy & Bruce A. Babcock & Dermot J. Hayes, 1997. "Budgetary and Producer Welfare Effects of Revenue Insurance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(3), pages 1024-1034.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paulson, Nicholas D. & Babcock, Bruce A. & Hart, Chad E. & Hayes, Dermot J., 2008. "An Insurance Approach to Risk Management in the Ethanol Industry," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 37(1), April.
    2. Valvekar, Mayuri & Chavas, Jean P. & Gould, Brian W. & Cabrera, Victor E., 2011. "Revenue risk management, risk aversion and the use of Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle insurance," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(9), pages 671-678.
    3. Brester, Gary W. & Marsh, John M. & Atwood, Joseph A., 2004. "Distributional Impacts of Country-of-Origin Labeling in the U.S. Meat Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(02), August.
    4. Cabrera, Victor E. & Gould, Brian W. & Valvekar, Mayuri, 2009. "Livestock Gross Margin Insurance for Dairy Cattle: An Analysis of Program Performance and Cost under Alternative Policy Configurations," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49262, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Paulson, Nicholas David, 2004. "Insuring uncertainty in value-added agriculture: ethanol," ISU General Staff Papers 2004010108000018198, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Sengupta, Sanchita, 2010. "Three Essays in Environmental and Agricultural Issues," ISU General Staff Papers 201001010800002848, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Singerman, Ariel & Hart, Chad E. & Lence, Sergio H., 2012. "Revenue Protection for Organic Producers: Too Much or Too Little?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(3), December.
    8. Rubin, Ofir D. & Babcock, Bruce A., 2013. "The impact of expansion of wind power capacity and pricing methods on the efficiency of deregulated electricity markets," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 676-688.
    9. Bielza, Maria & Garrido, Alberto, 2006. "Evaluating the Potential of Whole-Farm Insurance Over Crop-Specific Insurance Policies," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25421, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Singerman, Ariel, 2011. "Price Analysis, Risk Assessment and Insurance for Organic Crops," ISU General Staff Papers 201101010800001065, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    11. Rubin, Ofir David, 2010. "Equilibrium pricing in electricity markets with wind power," ISU General Staff Papers 201001010800002361, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    12. Anderson, John D. & Harri, Ardian & Coble, Keith H., 2009. "Techniques for Multivariate Simulation from Mixed Marginal Distributions with Application to Whole-Farm Revenue Simulation," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(1), April.

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