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Impact of formal climate risk transfer mechanisms on risk-aversion: Empirical evidence from rural Ethiopia

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  • Haile, Kaleab K.
  • Nillesen, Eleonora
  • Tirivayi, Nyasha

Abstract

This study examines the effect of smallholder farmers’ access to a formal climate risk transfer mechanism on their risk preferences. Survey and experimental data were collected from smallholder farmers that have access to weather index-based crop insurance (WICI) in Ethiopia. We use an endogenous switching probit (ESP) model to address self-selection and simultaneity biases. Results from the ESP model show that farmers who purchased WICI are less likely to be risk-averse compared with the counterfactual scenario of being non-purchaser farmers. Similarly, non-purchasers would have attained a significant reduction in their risk-aversion if they had taken up the insurance product. We also find that WICI has a positive and statistically significant effect on farmers’ real-life risk-taking behavior as exemplified by mineral fertilizer use. The implication of our findings is that formal climate risk transfer mechanisms can positively influence rural household farm investment decisions, by reducing individual risk-aversion. Therefore, they can possibly contribute to poverty alleviation and economic development within agrarian economies that are exposed to recurrent and severe climate shocks.

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  • Haile, Kaleab K. & Nillesen, Eleonora & Tirivayi, Nyasha, 2020. "Impact of formal climate risk transfer mechanisms on risk-aversion: Empirical evidence from rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:130:y:2020:i:c:s0305750x20300565
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.104930
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Weather index-based crop insurance; Endogenous risk preferences; Experimental risk elicitation; Endogenous switching probit; Sub-Saharan Africa; Ethiopia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • N27 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Africa; Oceania

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