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Factors affecting crop insurance purchases in China: the Inner Mongolia region

  • Milton Boyd
  • Jeffrey Pai
  • Qiao Zhang
  • H. Holly Wang
  • Ke Wang

Purpose – China frequently suffers from weather-related natural disasters and weather risk is recognized as a source of wide-spread systemic risk throughout large swaths of China. During these periods farmers' crops are at risk and for a largely poor population few can afford the turmoil to livelihoods that goes along with drought. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the willingness of Shaanxi and Gansu farmers to purchase weather insurance. Design/methodology/approach – This paper is based on surveyed results of 890 farm households in Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. The survey was designed specifically to extract willingness to pay for weather insurance. Factor affecting willingness to pay are explained using linear regression. Findings – The authors find strong evidence that the demand for drought insurance is downward sloping and also believe from the analysis that the demand is fairly elastic. This suggests that price matters and the results suggest that in order for wide spread adoption of weather insurance farmers will require a substantial premium, perhaps in the order of 80 per cent, as is being applied to current crop insurance initiatives. The authors find, as expected, that crop producers would be willing to pay more for insurance than livestock producers, but also find, as one would expect, that the key indicator is risk. Using a Pert distribution, the authors constructed from information gathered from farmers the expected values and standard deviations of gross revenues and yields of the most prominent crop and constructed the coefficient of variation. It was found in both cases that the higher the CV the greater the willingness to pay. Originality/value – The authors believe that this is the first willingness-to-pay study of weather insurance uptake in China. The authors used a unique “experimental” design and investigation technique to determine weather insurance demand.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal China Agricultural Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 441-450

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Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:441-450
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  1. Steven D. Hanson & Robert J. Myers & J. Roy Black, 1998. "The Effects of Crop Yield Insurance Designs on Farmer Participation and Welfare," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(4), pages 806-820.
  2. Smith, Gerald E. & Venkatraman, Meera P. & Dholakia, Ruby Roy, 1999. "Diagnosing the search cost effect: Waiting time and the moderating impact of prior category knowledge," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 285-314, June.
  3. 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.
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