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Assessing the impact of public transfers on private risk sharing arrangements: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Mexico

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  • Marina Pavan

    () (LEE & Universitat Jaume I and The Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Aldo Colussi

    () (University of Western Ontario)

Abstract

We adopt a structural approach to studying the effects of public transfers on consumption smoothing, risk sharing and welfare in small village economies. We calibrate the key parameters of a dynamic limited commitment model using data gathered as part of the Mexican Progresa program, and take advantage of the randomized experimental design of the data to validate the model using the treatment sample. The limited commitment model enriched to allow for unobserved heterogeneity in preferences can reasonably well explain consumption dynamics and cross-sectional distributions. The calibrated model correctly predicts the increase in consumption smoothing of transfers’ recipients, and the decrease in risk sharing between beneficiaries and non beneficiaries of the program. Progresa transfers are found to crowd-out between 3% and 10% of the pre-existing private transfers, but the overall direct e,ect of the subsidy on consumption is welfare improving for all households. Last, we use our structural model to evaluate a counterfactual, fully funded, insurance scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Marina Pavan & Aldo Colussi, 2011. "Assessing the impact of public transfers on private risk sharing arrangements: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Mexico," Working Papers 2011/05, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  • Handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2011/05
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 209-244.
    2. Cox, Donald & Hansen, Bruce E. & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 2004. "How responsive are private transfers to income? Evidence from a laissez-faire economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2193-2219, August.
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    9. Attanasio, Orazio & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2000. "Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1225-1258, June.
    10. Albarran, Pedro & Attanasio, Orazio P., 2002. "Do Public Transfers Crowd Out Private Transfers? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mexico," WIDER Working Paper Series 006, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    15. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:rwirep:0432 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Klohn, Florian & Strupat, Christoph, 2013. "Crowding out of Solidarity? – Public Health Insurance versus Informal Transfer Networks in Ghana," Ruhr Economic Papers 432, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:212-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Florian Klohn & Christoph Strupat, 2013. "Crowding out of Solidarity? – Public Health Insurance versus Informal Transfer Networks in Ghana," Ruhr Economic Papers 0432, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk Sharing; Limited Commitment; Crowding-out; Transfers Programs;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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