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Valuing Asset Insurance in the Presence of Poverty Traps: A Dynamic Approach

Author

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  • Janzen, Sarah A.
  • Carter, Michael R.
  • Ikegami, Munenobu

Abstract

Ample evidence exists to suggest that nonlinear asset dynamics can give rise to an environment of poverty traps. When dynamic asset thresholds matter, risk not only affects households ex post, but it also influences ex ante behavior. In this environment some house-holds may have much to gain from a productive safety net which prevents asset levels from dipping below the Micawber threshold. Insurance is a market-based mechanism that can act as a safety net, improving the risk management strategies available to vulnerable households. In this paper we use dynamic programming methods to assess whether vulnerable households will `self-select' into an asset insurance scheme. We show that while such households opti- mally insure at low levels, insurance serves to crowd in additional investment, causing a shift in the Micawber threshold. This investment comes from the hope of reduced vulnerability that insurance offers in the future. Finally, we use our model to make predictions about the value of index-based livestock insurance (IBLI) in Marsabit district of northern Kenya. Our results suggest that the behavioral changes brought about by insurance may result in decreased poverty levels over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Janzen, Sarah A. & Carter, Michael R. & Ikegami, Munenobu, 2012. "Valuing Asset Insurance in the Presence of Poverty Traps: A Dynamic Approach," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124805, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124805
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/124805
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francisca Antman & David McKenzie, 2007. "Poverty traps and nonlinear income dynamics with measurement error and individual heterogeneity," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 1057-1083.
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    12. Francesca de Nicola, 2011. "The Impact of Weather Insurance on Consumption, Investment, and Welfare," 2011 Meeting Papers 548, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    1. repec:oup:apecpp:v:39:y:2017:i:2:p:199-219. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Farrin, Katie & Miranda, Mario J., 2015. "A heterogeneous agent model of credit-linked index insurance and farm technology adoption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 199-211.
    3. Jensen, Nathaniel & Mude, Andrew & Barrett, Christopher, 2014. "How Basis Risk and Spatiotemporal Adverse Selection Influence Demand for Index Insurance: Evidence from Northern Kenya," MPRA Paper 60452, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Farrin, Kathleen M. & Miranda, Mario J., 2013. "Premium Benefits? A Heterogeneous Agent Model of Credit-Linked Index Insurance and Farm Technology Adoption," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149666, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Janzen, Sarah A. & Carter, Michael R., 2013. "The Impact of Microinsurance on Consumption Smoothing and Asset Protection: Evidence from a Drought in Kenya," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151141, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Takahashi, Kazushi & Ikegami, Munenobu & Sheahan, Megan & Barrett, Christopher B., 2014. "Quasi-experimental evidence on the drivers of index-based livestock insurance demand in Southern Ethiopia," IDE Discussion Papers 480, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    7. Carter,Michael R. & Janzen,Sarah Ann, 2015. "Social protection in the face of climate change : targeting principles and financing mechanisms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7476, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Security and Poverty; Livestock Production/Industries; Risk and Uncertainty;

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