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Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment


  • Ethan Ligon

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Jonathan P. Thomas

    (University of Warwick)

  • Tim Worrall

    (Keele University)


We examine a dynamic model of mutual insurance when households can also engage in self insurance by storage. We assume that there is no enforcement mechanism, so that any insurance is informal, and must be self-enforcing. We show that consumption allocations satisfy a modified Euler condition and that an enhanced storage technology can either improve or diminish welfare. Furthermore we show that the ex ante transfers introduced into dynamic informal insurance models recently by Gauthier, Poitevin, and Gonzales (1997) are only used here in the first period, with the role of ex ante transfers being replaced by differential individual storage. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2000. "Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(2), pages 216-246, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:3:y:2000:i:2:p:216-246
    DOI: 10.1006/redy.1999.0081

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1988. "Self-Enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 541-554.
    2. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
    3. Marcle Fafchamps, 1999. "Risk sharing and quasi-credit," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 257-278.
    4. Karine Gobert & Michel Poitevin, 2006. "Non-commitment and savings in dynamic risk-sharing contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(2), pages 357-372, June.
    5. Brian D. Wright & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 2000. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 621-639, June.
    6. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 43-50, March.
    7. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609.
    8. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
    9. Gauthier, Celine & Poitevin, Michel & Gonzalez, Patrick, 1997. "Ex Ante Payments in Self-Enforcing Risk-Sharing Contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 106-144, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth


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