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Risk Sharing With Limited Commitment And Preference Heterogeneity: Structural Estimation And Testing

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  • Sarolta Laczó

Abstract

In order to analyze the role of limited commitment and preference heterogeneity in explaining the consumption allocation, I propose a theoretical and empirical framework to estimate and evaluate a risk-sharing model where insurance transfers have to be self-enforcing and the coefficient of relative risk aversion may depend on observable household characteristics. I compare this model to benchmark models with full commitment and/or without preference heterogeneity using data from three Indian villages. I find that the limited commitment model with heterogeneous preferences outperforms the benchmark models in a statistical sense and in terms of (i) explaining the dynamic response of consumption to idiosyncratic income shocks, (ii) accounting for the variation of consumption unexplained by household and time effects, and (iii) capturing the variation of inequality across time and villages and predicting changes in inequality. I also use the estimated models to predict the effects of a counterfactual tax and transfer policy on the consumption allocation. The limited commitment model with preference heterogeneity predicts larger benefits to the poor than its homogeneous counterpart. (JEL: C52, D10, D52)

Suggested Citation

  • Sarolta Laczó, 2015. "Risk Sharing With Limited Commitment And Preference Heterogeneity: Structural Estimation And Testing," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 265-292, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:13:y:2015:i:2:p:265-292
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jeea.12115
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    Cited by:

    1. Ligon, Ethan & Schechter, Laura, 2017. "Structural experimentation to distinguish between models of risk sharing with frictions in rural Paraguay," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt9891t8g3, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    2. Tobias Broer & Tessa Bold, 2015. "Risk-Sharing in Village Economies Revisited," 2015 Meeting Papers 1232, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets

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