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Flexible insurance for heterogeneous farmers: Results from a small-scale pilot in Ethiopia

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  • Hill, Ruth Vargas
  • Robles, Miguel

Abstract

We analyze the effectiveness of a new approach in providing weather index–based insurance products to low-income populations. The approach is based on the concept of providing multiple weather securities that pay a fixed amount if the event written on the security (that monthly rainfall at a nearby weather station falls below a stated cutoff) comes true. A theoretical model is developed to outline the conditions in which weather securities could outperform crop-specific weather index–based insurance policies. Data collected during both an experimental game and real purchases of such insurance policies among farmers in southern Ethiopia suggest that the securities are well understood and can fit heterogeneous farmer needs. This paper documents (1) heterogeneity of rainfall risk among farmers, (2) the understanding of securities and transmission of information about weather securities among members of endogenously formed risk-sharing groups, and (3) the nature of purchasing decisions and manner in which they are made.

Suggested Citation

  • Hill, Ruth Vargas & Robles, Miguel, 2011. "Flexible insurance for heterogeneous farmers: Results from a small-scale pilot in Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1092, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1092
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Hongbin Cai & Yuyu Chen & Hanming Fang & Li-An Zhou, 2009. "Microinsurance, Trust and Economic Development: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kurosaki, Takashi & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2002. "Insurance market efficiency and crop choices in Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 419-453, April.
    6. Hill, Ruth Vargas & Viceisza, Angelino, 2010. "An experiment on the impact of weather shocks and insurance on risky investment," IFPRI discussion papers 974, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Daniel Clarke & Sefan Dercon, 2009. "Insurance, Credit and Safety Nets for the Poor in a World of Risk," Working Papers 81, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    8. Gin, Xavier & Yang, Dean, 2009. "Insurance, credit, and technology adoption: Field experimental evidencefrom Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-11, May.
    9. Dercon, Stefan & Hill, Ruth Vargas & Clarke, Daniel & Outes-Leon, Ingo & Seyoum Taffesse, Alemayehu, 2014. "Offering rainfall insurance to informal insurance groups: Evidence from a field experiment in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 132-143.
    10. 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.
    11. Ruth Vargas Hill, 2009. "Using Stated Preferences and Beliefs to Identify the Impact of Risk on Poor Households," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 151-171.
    12. Skees, Jerry & Hazell, P. B. R. & Miranda, Mario, 1999. "New approaches to crop yield insurance in developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 55, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    13. Cummins, J. David & Lalonde, David & Phillips, Richard D., 2004. "The basis risk of catastrophic-loss index securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 77-111, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ruth Vargas Hill & John Hoddinott & Neha Kumar, 2013. "Adoption of weather-index insurance: learning from willingness to pay among a panel of households in rural Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(4-5), pages 385-398, July.
    2. Serfilippi, Elena & Carter, Michael & Guirkinger, Catherine, 2015. "Certain and Uncertain Utility and Insurance Demand: Results From a Framed Field Experiment in Burkina Faso," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211384, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Delavallade, Clara & Dizon, Felipe & Hill, Ruth Vargas & Petraud, Jean Paul, 2015. "Managing risk with insurance and savings: Experimental evidence for male and female farm managers in West Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1426, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Dean Karlan & Robert Osei & Isaac Osei-Akoto & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 597-652.
    5. de Brauw, Alan & Eozenou, Patrick, 2014. "Measuring risk attitudes among Mozambican farmers," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 61-74.
    6. Renkow, Mitch & Slade, Roger, 2013. "An assessment of IFPRI's work in Ethiopia 1995-2010: Ideology, influence, and idiosyncrasy," Impact assessments 36, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. 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.
    8. Dercon, Stefan & Hill, Ruth Vargas & Clarke, Daniel & Outes-Leon, Ingo & Seyoum Taffesse, Alemayehu, 2014. "Offering rainfall insurance to informal insurance groups: Evidence from a field experiment in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 132-143.
    9. Delavallade, Clara & Dizon, Felipe & Hill, Ruth & Petraud, Jean Paul, 2015. "Managing Risk with Insurance and Savings: Experimental Evidence for Male and Female Farm Managers in the Sahel," SALDRU Working Papers 142, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    10. Platteau, Jean-Philippe & De Bock, Ombeline & Gelade, Wouter, 2017. "The Demand for Microinsurance: A Literature Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 139-156.

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    Keywords

    Arrow securities; weather index insurance;

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