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Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment

  • Ethan Ligon
  • Jonathan P. Thomas
  • Tim Worrall

This paper examines a dynamic model of mutual insurance when households can also engage in self-insurance by storage. This mutual insurance is informal as it is assumed that there is no enforcement mechanism, so any mutual insurance arrangements must be self-enforcing. It is shown how consumption allocations satisfy a modified Euler condition and that an enhanced storage technology can either raise or diminish welfare. Furthermore it is shown that the ex ante transfers introduced into dynamic informal insurance models recently by Gauthier, Poitevin, and Gonz´alez (1997) are only used here in the first period, with the role of ex ante transfers being replaced by differential individual storage.

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File URL: http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/ec/wpapers/9814.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Keele University in its series Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) with number 98/14.

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Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Dynamics, Vol. 3(2), April 2000, pages 216-246.
Handle: RePEc:kee:keeldp:98/14
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Keele, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG - United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1782 584581
Fax: +44 (0)1782 717577
Web page: http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/ec/cer/Email:


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Order Information: Postal: Department of Economics, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG - United Kingdom
Web: http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/ec/cer/pubs_kerps.htm Email:


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  1. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609, October.
  2. Brian D. Wright & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 2000. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 621-639, June.
  3. GOBERT, Karine & POITEVIN, Michel, 1998. "Non-Commitment and Savings in Dynamic Risk-Sharing Contracts," Cahiers de recherche 9806, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  4. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget," Levine's Working Paper Archive 209, David K. Levine.
  5. Gauthier, Celine & Poitevin, Michel & Gonzalez, Patrick, 1997. "Ex Ante Payments in Self-Enforcing Risk-Sharing Contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 106-144, September.
  6. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
  7. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  8. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
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