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Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing

  • Morduch, J.

One way that risk-averse households protect consumption levels is to borrow and use insurance mechanisms. Another way, common in low-income economies, is to diversify economic activities and make conservative production and employment choices. Households thus tend toward limiting exposure only to shocks that can be handled with available credit and insurance. Typically, both types of mechanisms are studied independently but much more can be learned by studying them together. First, we obtain a more complete picture of risks, costs, and insurance possibilities. Second, it opens the way to considering biases in standard tests of credit and insurance.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute for International Development in its series Papers with number 512.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:harvid:512
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  1. 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.
  2. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1983. "Labor-Tying in a Poor Agrarian Economy: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 501-14, August.
  3. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  4. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
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