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Voting over Informal Risk--Sharing Rules

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  • Stefan Ambec

Abstract

This paper posits a new approach to informal risk-sharing in developing countries inspired by anthropological studies. A risk-sharing rule emerges as a collective choice which is enforced through peer-pressure. I determine the elected rules and the level of compliance with these rules. Full risk-sharing is achieved only if everybody complies. Partial risk-sharing arises more often with full or partial compliance. In many cases, a majority of people vote for and comply with the risk-sharing rule that maximises their own expected payoff. Yet a minority of people might comply with a rule which is detrimental to them. Copyright 2008 The author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Ambec, 2008. "Voting over Informal Risk--Sharing Rules," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(4), pages 635-659, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:17:y:2008:i:4:p:635-659
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jae/ejn001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    2. Abigail Barr, 2001. "Social dilemmas and shame-based sanctions: experimental results from rural Zimbabwe," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Philippe Platteau & Guilia Camilotti & Emmanuelle Auriol, 2017. "Eradicating women-hurting customs: What role for social engineering?," WIDER Working Paper Series 145, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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