Health Shocks and Consumption Smoothing: Evidence from Indonesia
Episodes of uninsured illness can seriously compromise a household's well-being. This article provides further evidence on the consequences of illness episodes on earnings and consumption in Indonesia. We exploit a rich panel data set that allows us to combine fixed effects and instrumental variables to address biases associated with the endogeneity of illness. Using deteriorations in physical functioning to measure illness for a sample of prime-age individuals, we find that earnings are significantly reduced. However, the effects on consumption are relatively small and statistically insignificant. In addition, we explore informal mechanisms that households may be using to smooth out the consequences of these episodes. In particular, we study whether households deplete liquid assets or receive transfers from noncoresident kin. Transfers are responsive to illness, but there is no evidence of asset depletions. Overall, our findings suggest some ability to smooth the income effects of illness on average. Nonetheless, our analysis is subject to some important caveats that highlight the difficulties of identifying these effects and the need for more careful research on this relevant question.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, April.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1988.
"Risk, Implicit Contracts and the Family in Rural Areas of Low-income Countries,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1148-1170, December.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1986. "Risk, Implicit Contracts and the Family in Rural Areas of Low-Income Countries," Bulletins 7518, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
- Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, "undated". "Risk Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Working Papers 97014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, 2000. "Risk-Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Economics Series Working Papers 10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
- Robert M. Townsend, "undated". "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2000. "In Sickness and in Health: Risk Sharing within Households in Rural Ethiopia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 688-727, August.
- Pramila Krishnan & Stefan Dercon, 1997. "In sickness and in health ... risk-sharing within households in rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 103-114, Summer.
- Morduch, J., 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Papers 512, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Duncan Thomas & Elizabeth Frankenberg & James P. Smith, 2001. "Lost but Not Forgotten: Attrition and Follow-up in the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 556-592.
- Duncan Thomas & Elizabeth Frankenberg & James P. Smith, 2000. "Lost But Not Forgotten: Attrition and Follow-up in the Indonesian Family Life Survey," Working Papers 00-03, RAND Corporation.
- Duncan Thomas & Elizabeth Frankenberg & James P. Smith, 2004. "Lost but Not Forgotten: Attrition and Follow-up in the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Labor and Demography 0408007, EconWPA.
- Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1997. "Health and wages: Evidence on men and women in urban Brazil," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 159-185, March.
- Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1997. "Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil," Papers 97-05, RAND - Reprint Series.
- Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-918, October.
- Wagstaff, Adam, 2007. "The economic consequences of health shocks: Evidence from Vietnam," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 82-100, January.
- Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 311-335.
- Schultz, T. Paul & Tansel, Aysit, 1997. "Wage and labor supply effects of illness in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana: instrumental variable estimates for days disabled," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 251-286, August.
- Schultz, T-P, 1996. "Wage and Labor Supply effects of Illness in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana : Instrumental Variable Estimates for Days Disabled," Papers 757, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Kochar, Anjini, 1995. "Explaining Household Vulnerability to Idiosyncratic Income Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 159-164, May. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)