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Heterogeneity and risk sharking in village economies

  • Pierre-Andre Chiappori
  • Krislert Samphantharak
  • Sam Schulhofer-Wohl
  • Robert Townsend

We show how to use panel data on household consumption to directly estimate households’ risk preferences. Specifically, we measure heterogeneity in risk aversion among households in Thai villages using a full risk-sharing model, which we then test allowing for this heterogeneity. There is substantial, statistically significant heterogeneity in estimated risk preferences. Full insurance cannot be rejected. As the risk sharing, as-if-complete-markets theory might predict, estimated risk preferences are unrelated to wealth or other characteristics. The heterogeneity matters for policy: Although the average household would benefit from eliminating village-level risk, less-risk-averse households who are paid to absorb that risk would be worse off by several percent of household consumption.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 483.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:483
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  1. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Monica Paiella, 2011. "Relative Risk Aversion Is Constant: Evidence From Panel Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(6), pages 1021-1052, December.
  2. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2008. "Heterogeneous Risk Preferences and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 761-780, October.
  3. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2011. "Heterogeneity and tests of risk sharing," Staff Report 462, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  5. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
  6. GlennW. Harrison & StevenJ. Humphrey & Arjan Verschoor, 2010. "Choice under Uncertainty: Evidence from Ethiopia, India and Uganda," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 80-104, 03.
  7. Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
  8. 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 104-35, January.
  9. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2007. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/47, European University Institute.
  10. Maurizio Mazzocco & Shiv Saini, 2012. "Testing Efficient Risk Sharing with Heterogeneous Risk Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 428-68, February.
  11. Chirok Han & Peter C.B. Phillips, 2005. "GMM with Many Moment Conditions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1515, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Dumas, Bernard, 1989. "Two-Person Dynamic Equilibrium in the Capital Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(2), pages 157-88.
  14. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Krislert Samphantharak & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl & Robert Townsend, 2013. "Portfolio choices and risk preferences in village economies," Working Papers 706, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Jiang, Wang, 1996. "The term structure of interest rates in a pure exchange economy with heterogeneous investors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 75-110, May.
  16. Alexander Karaivanov & Robert M. Townsend, 2014. "Dynamic Financial Constraints: Distinguishing Mechanism Design From Exogenously Incomplete Regimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 887-959, 05.
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