IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Sarolta Laczó


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mani Motameni, 2017. "A Novel Analysis of Risk Sharing Effects on Income Inequality in Informal Insurances," Iranian Economic Review (IER), Faculty of Economics,University of Tehran.Tehran,Iran, vol. 21(2), pages 230-240, Spring.
    2. Ethan Ligon & Laura Schechter, 2020. "Structural Experimentation to Distinguish between Models of Risk Sharing with Frictions in Rural Paraguay," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-50.
    3. Li, Zhimin & Ligon, Ethan, 2020. "Inferring informal risk-sharing regimes: Evidence from rural Tanzania," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt50f6t3fh, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    4. Tobias Broer & Tessa Bold, 2015. "Risk-Sharing in Village Economies Revisited," 2015 Meeting Papers 1232, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Ligon, Ethan, 2020. "Estimating Household Welfare from Disaggregate Expenditures," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt3ts0g5tn, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    6. Karol Mazur, 2020. "Sharing Risk to Avoid Tragedy: Informal Insurance and Irrigation in Village Economies," CSAE Working Paper Series 2020-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

    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


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:13:y:2015:i:2:p:265-292. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.