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Patterns of Rainfall Insurance Participation in Rural India

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  • Xavier Giné
  • Robert Townsend
  • James Vickery

Abstract

Take-up of an innovative rainfall insurance policy offered to smallholder farmers in rural India decreases with basis risk between insurance payouts and income fluctuations, increases with household wealth, and decreases with binding credit constraints. These results are consistent with the predictions of a simple neoclassical model with borrowing constraints. Other patterns are less consistent with the benchmark model. For example, participation in village networks and measures of familiarity with the insurance vendor are strongly correlated with insurance take-up decisions, and risk-averse households are less, not more, likely to purchase insurance. These results may reflect household uncertainty about the product, given their limited experience with it. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / the world bank . All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Giné & Robert Townsend & James Vickery, 2008. "Patterns of Rainfall Insurance Participation in Rural India," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 539-566, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:22:y:2008:i:3:p:539-566
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/wber/lhn015
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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