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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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    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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