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Risk, Agricultural Production, and Weather Index Insurance in Village South Asia

Author

Listed:
  • Michler, Jeffrey D.
  • Viens, Frederi G.
  • Shively, Gerald E.

Abstract

We investigate the sources of variance in crop output and measure their relative importance in the context of weather index insurance for smallholder farmers. We use parcel-level panel data from South Asia and a multilevel modeling approach to isolate the different sources of variance. We then measure how large a role weather plays in explaining variance in yields. Using Bayesian methods, we draw the underlying distribution of the random error term responsible for weather uncertainty, which is highly skewed and non-normal. We find that variance in weather accounts for a small but important fraction of total variance in crop output. We also derive pricing and payout schedules for actuarially fair weather index insurance. Our results shed light on the low uptake rates of index insurance in South Asia and provide direction for designing index insurance with less basis risk for farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • Michler, Jeffrey D. & Viens, Frederi G. & Shively, Gerald E., 2015. "Risk, Agricultural Production, and Weather Index Insurance in Village South Asia," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205297, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea15:205297
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/205297/files/6690%20Weather%20Risk%20and%20Agricultural%20Production.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shawn Cole & Xavier Gine & Jeremy Tobacman & Petia Topalova & Robert Townsend & James Vickery, 2013. "Barriers to Household Risk Management: Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 104-135, January.
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    3. Clarke,Daniel Jonathan & Mahul,Olivier & Rao,Kolli Nageswara & Verma,Niraj, 2012. "Weather based crop insurance in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5985, The World Bank.
    4. Gine, Xavier & Menand, Lev & Townsend, Robert & Vickery, James, 2010. "Microinsurance : a case study of the Indian rainfall index insurance market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5459, The World Bank.
    5. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    6. Xavier Giné & Robert Townsend & James Vickery, 2007. "Statistical Analysis of Rainfall Insurance Payouts in Southern India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1248-1254.
    7. Xavier Giné & Robert Townsend & James Vickery, 2008. "Patterns of Rainfall Insurance Participation in Rural India," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 539-566, October.
    8. S. Viswanathan & Adriano Rampini, 2013. "Household risk management," 2013 Meeting Papers 647, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Jerry R. Skees & Jason Hartell & Anne G. Murphy, 2007. "Using Index-Based Risk Transfer Products to Facilitate Micro Lending in Peru and Vietnam," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1255-1261.
    10. Sonia Akter & Roy Brouwer & Saria Choudhury & Salina Aziz, 2009. "Is there a commercially viable market for crop insurance in rural Bangladesh?," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 215-229, March.
    11. Barry J. Barnett & Olivier Mahul, 2007. "Weather Index Insurance for Agriculture and Rural Areas in Lower-Income Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1241-1247.
    12. Clarke,Daniel Jonathan & Mahul,Olivier & Verma,Niraj, 2012. "Index based crop insurance product design and ratemaking : the case of modified NAIS in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5986, The World Bank.
    13. Sommarat Chantarat & Andrew G. Mude & Christopher B. Barrett & Michael R. Carter, 2013. "Designing Index-Based Livestock Insurance for Managing Asset Risk in Northern Kenya," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(1), pages 205-237, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michler, Jeffrey & Shively, Gerald, 2016. "Agricultural Production, Weather Variability, and Technical Change: 40 Years of Evidence from Indi," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236342, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:163-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ward, Patrick S. & Makhija, Simrin, 2016. "New modalities for managing drought risk in rainfed agriculture: Evidence from a discrete choice experiment in Odisha, India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1563, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Mekonnen, Dawit & Hira, Channa & Claudia, Ringler, "undated". "Where to invest in the Indus Basin Irrigation System in Pakistan to improve land and water productivity? Insights from a hierarchical model," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235977, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy; Food Security and Poverty; International Development; Production Economics; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; Risk and Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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