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Temporary Migration and Endogenous Risk Sharing in Village India

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  • Melanie Morten

Abstract

When people can self-insure via migration, they may have less need for informal risk sharing. At the same time, informal insurance may reduce the need to migrate. To understand the joint determination of migration and risk sharing I study a dynamic model of risk sharing with limited commitment frictions and endogenous temporary migration. First, I characterize the model. I demonstrate theoretically how migration may decrease risk sharing. I decompose the welfare effect of migration into the change in income and the change in the endogenous structure of insurance. I then show how risk sharing alters the returns to migration. Second, I structurally estimate the model using the new (2001-2004) ICRISAT panel from rural India. The estimation yields: (1) improving access to risk sharing reduces migration by 21 percentage points; (2) reducing the cost of migration reduces risk sharing by 8 percentage points; (3) contrasting endogenous to exogenous risk sharing, the consumption-equivalent gain from reducing migration costs is 18.9 percentage points lower. Third, I introduce a rural employment scheme. The policy reduces migration and decreases risk sharing. The welfare gain of the policy is 55-70% lower after household risk sharing and migration responses are considered

Suggested Citation

  • Melanie Morten, 2016. "Temporary Migration and Endogenous Risk Sharing in Village India," NBER Working Papers 22159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22159
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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