IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Do Microfinance Programs Help Families Insure Consumption Against Illness?

  • Gertler, Paul
  • Levine, David I.
  • Moretti, Enrico

Families in developing countries face enormous financial risks from major illness both in terms of the cost of medical care and the loss in income associated with reduced labor supply and productivity. We test whether access to microfinancial savings and lending institutions helps Indonesian families smooth consumption after declines in adult health. In general, results support the importance of these institutions in helping families to self-insure consumption against health shocks.

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.

File URL:;origin=repeccitec
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series with number qt5811j217.

in new window

Date of creation: 05 Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ciders:qt5811j217
Contact details of provider: Postal: F502 Haas, Berkeley CA 94720-1922
Phone: (510) 642-1922
Fax: (510) 642-5018
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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.:

as in new window
  1. Angus Deaton, 1989. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kochar, Anjini, 1995. "Explaining Household Vulnerability to Idiosyncratic Income Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 159-64, May.
  3. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1992. "Household Composition, Labor Markets, and Labor Demand: Testing for Separation in Agricultural Household Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 287-322, March.
  4. Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 2002. "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 51-70, March.
  5. Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-62, December.
  6. Sindelar, J. & Thomas, D., 1991. "Measurement of Child Health: Maternal Response Bias," Papers 633, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  7. 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.
  8. Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  9. Marcel Fafchamps & Chris Udry & Katherine Czukas, . "Drought and Saving in West Africa: Are Livestock a Buffer Stock?," Working Papers 97013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  10. Martin Ravallion & Shubham Chaudhuri, 1997. "Risk and Insurance in Village India: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 171-184, January.
  11. Harrower, Sarah & Hoddinott, John, 2004. "Consumption soothing and vulnerability in the Zone Lacustre, Mali," FCND discussion papers 175, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "Between the State and the Market: Can Informal Insurance Patch the Safety Net?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 187-207, August.
  13. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
  14. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
  15. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 103-114, Summer.
  16. John Strauss & Paul J. Gertler & Omar Rahman & Kristin Fox, 1993. "Gender and Life-Cycle Differentials in the Patterns and Determinants of Adult Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 791-837.
  17. Nelson, J.A., 1993. "On Testing for Full Insurance Using Consumer Expenditures Survey Data," Papers 93-02, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  18. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Timothy Waidmann, 1995. "Race and Education Differences in Disability Status and Labor Force Attachment," NBER Working Papers 5159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. McCarthy, Jonathan, 1995. "Imperfect insurance and differing propensities to consume across households," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 301-327, November.
  20. Cox, Donald & Jappelli, Tullio, 1990. "Credit Rationing and Private Transfers: Evidence from Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 445-54, August.
  21. Anjini Kochar, 1999. "Smoothing Consumption by Smoothing Income: Hours-of-Work Responses to Idiosyncratic Agricultural Shocks in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 50-61, February.
  22. Yaron, Jacob & Benjamin, McDonald & Charitonenko, Stephanie, 1998. "Promoting Efficient Rural Financial Intermediation," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 147-70, August.
  23. Attanasio, Orazio & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2000. "Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1225-1258, June.
  24. Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-94, March.
  25. James P. Smith & Raynard Kington, 2004. "Demographic and Economic Correlates of Health in Old Age," Labor and Demography 0408008, EconWPA.
  26. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Are the poor less well insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 61-81, February.
  27. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
  28. Cox, Donald, 1990. "Intergenerational Transfers and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 187-217, February.
  29. Robert M. Townsend, 1995. "Consumption Insurance: An Evaluation of Risk-Bearing Systems in Low-Income Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 83-102, Summer.
  30. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1985. "Health and Nutrient Consumption across and within Farm Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 212-23, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:ciders:qt5811j217. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.