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Insurance for the Poor: The Case of Informal Insurance Groups in Benin

  • Philippe LeMay-Boucher
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    This paper studies indigenous insurance groups using evidence from urban areas in Benin. Many of these informal institutions co-exist within neighbourhood-distance. They are based on well-defined rules and regulations, offering premium-based insurance for funeral expenses, as well as other forms of insurance and credit to cope with hardships. We provide first a description of these groups. Then we investigate, with the help of an original dataset, which individual characteristics are significant in explaining both the probability to join such groups and the choice of insurance coverage.

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    File URL: http://www.sml.hw.ac.uk/downloads/cert/wpa/2007/dp0707.pdf
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    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University in its series CERT Discussion Papers with number 0707.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:hwe:certdp:0707
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    Web page: http://www.sml.hw.ac.uk/research/cert.htm

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    1. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2004. "Food Aid and Informal Insurance," Development and Comp Systems 0409026, EconWPA.
    2. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, June.
    3. Deaton, A., 1989. "Saving And Liquidity Constraints," Papers 153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    4. Garance Genicot & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Group Formation in Risk-Sharing Arrangements," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 87-113.
    5. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    6. Morduch, J., 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Papers 512, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    7. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
    8. Jean-Philippe Platteau, 1997. "Mutual insurance as an elusive concept in traditional rural communities," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(6), pages 764-796.
    9. Ligon, Ethan & Thomas, Jonathan P & Worrall, Tim, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 209-44, January.
    10. Stefan Dercon & Joachim De Weerdt, 2002. "Risk-sharing Networks and Insurance against illness," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    11. Francis Bloch & Garance Genicot, 2005. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," 2005 Meeting Papers 156, Society for Economic Dynamics.
      • Francis Bloch (GREQAM and Universite de la Mediterranee), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University, and Debraj Ray (New York University and Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)), 2004. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-16, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    12. Stefan Dercon & Tessa Bold & Joachim De Weerdt & Alula Pankhurst, 2004. "Extending Insurance?: Funeral Associations in Ethiopia and Tanzania," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 240, OECD Publishing.
    13. Olivier Dagnelie & Philippe LeMay-Boucher, 2007. "ROSCA Participation in Benin: A Commitment Issue," CERT Discussion Papers 0708, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    14. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
    15. Robert M. Townsend, 1995. "Consumption Insurance: An Evaluation of Risk-Bearing Systems in Low-Income Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 83-102, Summer.
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