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How Does Risk Management Influence Production Decisions? Evidence from a Field Experiment

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Listed:
  • Shawn Cole
  • Xavier Giné
  • James Vickery

Abstract

Weather is a key source of income risk, especially in emerging market economies. This paper uses a randomized controlled trial involving Indian farmers to study how an innovative rainfall insurance product affects production decisions. We find that insurance provision induces farmers to invest more in higher-return but rainfall-sensitive cash crops, particularly among educated farmers. This shift in behavior occurs ex ante, when realized monsoon rainfall is still uncertain. Our results suggest that financial innovation can mitigate the real effects of uninsured production risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Shawn Cole & Xavier Giné & James Vickery, 2017. "How Does Risk Management Influence Production Decisions? Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(6), pages 1935-1970.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:30:y:2017:i:6:p:1935-1970.
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    1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2008. "How High Are Rates of Return to Fertilizer? Evidence from Field Experiments in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 482-488, May.
    2. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
    3. Sumit Agarwal & John C. Driscoll & Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2007. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," NBER Working Papers 13191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance

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