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Insurance and Rural Welfare: What Can Panel Data Tell Us?

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  • Chris Elbersa
  • Jan Willem Gunning
  • Lei Pan

Abstract

Assessing the scope for insurance in rural communities usually requires a structural model of household behavior under risk. One of the few empirical applications of such models is the study by Rosenzweig and Wolpin (1993) who conclude that Indian farmers in the ICRISAT villages would not benefit from the introduction of formal weather insurance. In this paper we investigate how models such as theirs can be estimated from panel data on production and assets. We show that if assets can take only a limited number of values the coefficients of the model cannot be estimated with reasonable precision. We also show that this can affect the conclusion that insurance would not be welfare improving.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Elbersa & Jan Willem Gunning & Lei Pan, 2007. "Insurance and Rural Welfare: What Can Panel Data Tell Us?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2007-13
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/2007-13text.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1993. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing, and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investment in Bullocks in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 223-244, April.
    2. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
    3. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Binswanger, Hans P, 1993. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 56-78, January.
    4. Evan Tanner, 1997. "Shifts in US savings: long-run asset accumulation versus consumption smoothing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 989-999.
    5. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2002. "Growth Regression and Economic Theory," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-034/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Pushkar Maitra, 2001. "Is consumption smooth at the cost of volatile leisure? An investigation of rural India," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(6), pages 727-734.
    7. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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