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Risk, Credit, and Insurance in Peru: Field Experimental Evidence

  • Galarza, Francisco

This paper reports the results of behavioral economic experiments conducted in Peru to examine the relationship amongst risk preferences, loan take-up, and insurance purchase decisions. This area-based yield insurance can help reduce people's vulnerability to large scale covariate shocks, and can also lower the loan default probability under extreme negative covariate shocks. In a context of collateralized formal credit markets, we provide suggestive evidence that insurance may help reduce the fear of losing collateral that prevents potential borrowers from taking loans. Framing these experiments to recreate a real life situation, we started with a Baseline Game where subjects had to choose between a fallback production project and an uninsured loan.We then introduced a third project choice--loan with yield insurance (Insurance Game)--which allows us to measure the effect of introducing insurance on the demand for loans. Overall, more than 50 percent of the subjects are willing to buy insurance in this insurance game. Further, controling for choices made in the baseline game, covariate shocks experienced earlier, and previous rounds' winnings, we find that the decision to take the insured loan (uninsured loan) rather than any of the other two projects is predicted by wealth and lower (higher) levels of risk aversion. Interestingly, this relationship with risk aversion continues to hold when we control for the overweighting of low-probability events observed in the data.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17833.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17833
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  1. Stephen R. Boucher & Michael R. Carter & Catherine Guirkinger, 2008. "Risk Rationing and Wealth Effects in Credit Markets: Theory and Implications for Agricultural Development," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), pages 409-423.
  2. Shawn Cole & Xavier Giné & Jeremy Tobacman & Petia Topalova & Robert M. Townsend & James Vickery, 2009. "Barriers to household risk management: evidence from India," Staff Reports 373, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Morduch, J., 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Papers 512, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  5. Gine, Xavier & Jakiela, Pamela & Karlan, Dean & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Microfinance games," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3959, The World Bank.
  6. Theo Offerman & Joep Sonnemans, 2004. "What's Causing Overreaction? An Experimental Investigation of Recency and the Hot-hand Effect," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 533-554, October.
  7. Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
  8. Gine, Xavier & Townsend, Robert & Vickery, James, 2007. "Patternsof rainfall insurance participation in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4408, The World Bank.
  9. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2009. "The Experimental Approach to Development Economics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 151-178, 05.
  10. Galarza, Francisco, 2009. "Choices under Risk in Rural Peru," MPRA Paper 17708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Feder, Gershon, 1980. "Farm Size, Risk Aversion and the Adoption of New Technology under Uncertainty," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 263-83, July.
  12. Travis Lybbert, 2006. "Indian farmers' valuation of yield distributions: Will poor farmers value 'pro-poor' seeds?," Framed Field Experiments 00187, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Levy, Haim & Levy, Moshe, 2002. "Arrow-Pratt Risk Aversion, Risk Premium and Decision Weights," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 265-90, November.
  14. Gin, Xavier & Yang, Dean, 2009. "Insurance, credit, and technology adoption: Field experimental evidencefrom Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-11, May.
  15. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey P. Carpenter, 2005. "Experiments and Economic Development: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0505, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
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