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Informal Insurance Arrangements in Village Economies

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  • Ethan Ligon
  • Jonathan P. Thomas
  • Tim Worrall

Abstract

Recent work on consumption allocations in village economies finds that idiosyncratic variation in consumption is systematically related to idiosyncratic variation in income, thus rejecting the hypothesis of full risk-pooling. We attempt to explain these observations by adding limited commitment as an impediment to risk-pooling. We provide a general dynamic model and completely characterise efficient informal insurance arrangements constrained by limited commitment, and test the model using data from from three Indian villages. We find that the model can fully explain the dynamic response of consumption to income, but that it fails to explain the distribution of consumption across households.

Suggested Citation

  • Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1997. "Informal Insurance Arrangements in Village Economies," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 97/08, Department of Economics, Keele University, revised Oct 2000.
  • Handle: RePEc:kee:keeldp:97/08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alvarez, Fernando & Jermann, Urban J, 2001. "Quantitative Asset Pricing Implications of Endogenous Solvency Constraints," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 1117-1151.
    2. 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.
    3. Tobias Broer, 2013. "The Wrong Shape of Insurance? What Cross-Sectional Distributions Tell Us about Models of Consumption Smoothing," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 107-140, October.
    4. Patrick J. Kehoe & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "International Business Cycles with Endogenous Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 907-928, May.
    5. Karine Gobert & Michel Poitevin, 2006. "Non-commitment and savings in dynamic risk-sharing contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(2), pages 357-372, June.
    6. Sutherland, Alan, 2002. "International monetary policy coordination and financial market integration," Working Paper Series 174, European Central Bank.
    7. Robert Holzmann & Steen Jørgensen, 2001. "Social Risk Management: A New Conceptual Framework for Social Protection, and Beyond," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 529-556, August.
    8. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2002. "Informal Family Insurance And The Design Of The Welfare State," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 481-503, July.
    9. Ana María Ibañez & Andrés Moya, 2010. "Do Conflicts Create Poverty Traps? Asset Losses and Recovery for Displaced Households in Colombia," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 137-172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hossein Askari & Abbas Mirakhor, 2014. "Risk sharing, public policy and the contribution of Islamic finance," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 67(271), pages 345-379.
    11. Jonathan P. Thomas & Timothy Worrall, 2002. "Gift-giving, Quasi-credit and Reciprocity," Rationality and Society, , vol. 14(3), pages 308-352, August.
    12. Paul Mosley & Robert Holzmann & Steen Jorgensen, 1999. "Social protection as social risk management: conceptual underpinnings for the social protection sector strategy paper," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(7), pages 1005-1027.
    13. S. Viswanathan & Adriano A. Rampini, 2008. "Collateral, Financial Intermediation, and the Distribution of Debt Capacity," 2008 Meeting Papers 116, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Fafchamps, Marcel & Gubert, Flore, 2007. "The formation of risk sharing networks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 326-350, July.
    15. Alan Sutherland, 2002. "International monetary policy coordination and financial market integration," International Finance Discussion Papers 751, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. De Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Murgai, Rinku, 2002. "Rural development and rural policy," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 31, pages 1593-1658, Elsevier.
    17. Philip Bond & Paul Huck & Sherrie L. W. Rhine & Robert M. Townsend, 1999. "Small business finance in two Chicago minority neighborhoods," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 23(Q II), pages 46-62.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption smoothing; Informal insurance; Limited commitment; Village economies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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