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Risk-sharing networks

  • Bramoullé, Yann
  • Kranton, Rachel

This paper considers the formation of risk-sharing networks. Following empirical findings, we build a model where pairs form links, but a population cannot coordinate links. As a benchmark, individuals commit to share monetary holdings equally with linked partners. We find efficient networks can (indirectly) connect all individuals and involve full insurance. But equilibrium networks connect fewer individuals. When breaking links, individuals do not consider negative externalities on others in the network. Thus identical individuals can end up in different positions in a network and have different outcomes. These results may help to explain empirical findings that risk-sharing is often asymmetric.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 64 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3-4 ()
Pages: 275-294

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:64:y:2007:i:3-4:p:275-294
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Stefan Dercon & Joachim De Weerdt, 2002. "Risk-sharing networks and insurance against illness," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-26, August.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, . "Risk Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Working Papers 97014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jackson, Matthew O. & Watts, Alison, 2002. "The Evolution of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 265-295, October.
  5. de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Winters, Paul C. & Murgai, Rinku, 2000. "Localized and Incomplete Mutual Insurance," Working Papers 12905, University of New England, School of Economics.
  6. Coate, S. & Ravallion, M., 1989. "Reciprocity Without Commitment: Characterization and Performance of Informal Risk-Sharing Arrangements," Papers 96, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
  7. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1995. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Garance Genicot & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Group Formation in Risk--Sharing Arrangements," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 87-113, January.
  9. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  10. Francis Bloch (GREQAM and Universite de la Mediterranee), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University, and Debraj Ray (New York University and Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)), 2004. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-16, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Kimball, Miles S, 1988. "Farmers' Cooperatives as Behavior Toward Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 224-32, March.
  12. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
  13. Udry, Christopher, 1995. "Risk and Saving in Northern Nigeria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1287-1300, December.
  14. Kirman, Alan, 1993. "Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 137-56, February.
  15. De Weerdt, Joachim, 2002. "Risk-Sharing and Endogenous Network Formation," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  16. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
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