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Social Norms and Individual Savings in the Context of Informal Insurance

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  • Zaki Wahhaj

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Abstract

This paper develops a theory of informal insurance in the presence of an intertemporal technology. It is shown that when an insurance agreement suffers from enforcement problems, constraints on individual savings behaviour can enable the group to sustain greater cooperation. This result provides a motivation for a variety of social norms observed in traditional societies which discourage 'excessive' accumulation of wealth by individuals. The paper also shows that social norms that discourage savings are more likely to benefit poorer communities and thus, paradoxically, cause them to fall further behind even as it serves a useful purpose.

Suggested Citation

  • Zaki Wahhaj, 2008. "Social Norms and Individual Savings in the Context of Informal Insurance," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-20, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  • Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:08-20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pal, Sarmistha & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2017. "Fiscal decentralisation, local institutions and public good provision: evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 383-409.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:212-221 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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