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Weather Index Drought Insurance: An Ex Ante Evaluation for Millet Growers in Niger

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  • Antoine Leblois

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  • Philippe Quirion
  • Agali Alhassane
  • Seydou Traoré

Abstract

In the Sudano-Sahelian region, which includes South Niger, the inter-annual variability of the rainy season is high and irrigation is limited. As a consequence, bad rainy seasons have a massive impact on crop yield and regularly result in food crises. Traditional insurance policies based on crop damage assessment are not available because of asymmetric information and high transaction costs compared to the value of production. We assess the risk mitigation capacity of an alternative form of insurance which has been implemented at a large scale in India since 2003: insurance based on a weather index. We compare the efficiency of various weather indices to increase the expected utility of a representative risk-averse farmer. We show the importance of using plot-level yield data rather than village averages, which bias results due to the presence of idiosyncratic shocks. We also illustrate the need for out-of-sample estimations in order to avoid overfitting. Even with the appropriate index and assuming substantial risk aversion, we find a limited gain of implementing insurance, which roughly corresponds to, or slightly exceeds, the cost observed in India for implementing such insurance policies. However, when we separately treat the plots with and without fertilisers separately, we see that the benefit of insurance is slightly higher in the former case. This suggests that insurance policies may slightly increase the use of risk-increasing inputs such as fertilisers and improved cultivars, and hence improve average yields, which remain very low in the region. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Leblois & Philippe Quirion & Agali Alhassane & Seydou Traoré, 2014. "Weather Index Drought Insurance: An Ex Ante Evaluation for Millet Growers in Niger," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(4), pages 527-551, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:57:y:2014:i:4:p:527-551
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-013-9641-3
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Takahashi, Kazushi & Ikegami, Munenobu & Sheahan, Megan & Barrett, Christopher B., 2016. "Experimental Evidence on the Drivers of Index-Based Livestock Insurance Demand in Southern Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 324-340.
    2. Moghaddasi, Reza & Eghbali, Alireza & Lakhaye Rizi, Parisa, 2014. "Analysis and Forecasting of Drought by Developing a Fuzzy-Based Hybrid Index in Iran," MPRA Paper 53153, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Takahashi, Kazushi & Ikegami, Munenobu & Sheahan, Megan & Barrett, Christopher B., 2014. "Quasi-experimental evidence on the drivers of index-based livestock insurance demand in Southern Ethiopia," IDE Discussion Papers 480, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    4. Antoine Leblois & Philippe Quirion & Benjamin Sultan, 2013. "Price vs. weather shock hedging for cash crops: ex ante evaluation for cotton producers in Cameroon," CIRED Working Papers hal-00796528, HAL.
    5. Doms, Juliane, 2017. "Put, call or strangle? About the challenges in designing weather index insurances to hedge performance risk in agriculture," 57th Annual Conference, Weihenstephan, Germany, September 13-15, 2017 261990, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agriculture; Weather; Index-based insurance; O12; Q12; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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