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Underwriting area-based yield insurance to crowd-in credit supply and demand


  • Carter, Michael R.
  • Galarza, Francisco
  • Boucher, Stephen


Recent theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that risk (especially covariant risk that is correlated across producers) may discourage both the supply of agricultural credit and the willingness of small holders to utilize available credit and enjoy the higher expected incomes credit could make available to them. One possible resolution to this problem is to remove risk from the system by independently insuring it. However, conventional (all hazard) crop insurance has in almost every instance been rendered financially unsustainable by moral hazard and adverse selection problems. This paper instead analyzes two index-based insurance schemes, one based on a weather index, and a second based on measured average yields. While these index insurance products do not protect the farmer from all risks, our econometric analysis (which is based on data from the north coast of Peru) shows that they could have substantial value to the producer and could also crowd-in credit supply from lenders reluctant to carry too much covariant risk in their loan portfolios. We also show that insurance based on measured yields is markedly superior to a weather index (for both borrowers and lenders). We close by arguing that present and past public good failures justify public intervention in this area, and analyze the feasibility of a public scheme to initially underwrite the costs and uncertainties associated with area-based yield insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Carter, Michael R. & Galarza, Francisco & Boucher, Stephen, 2007. "Underwriting area-based yield insurance to crowd-in credit supply and demand," MPRA Paper 24326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24326

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2000. "Information Sharing in Credit Markets: A Survey," CSEF Working Papers 36, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    2. Skees, Jerry*Gober, Stephanie*Varangis, Panos*Le, 2001. "Developing rainfall-based index insurance in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2577, The World Bank.
    3. Skees, Jerry & Varangis, Panos & Larson, Donald & Siegel, Paul, 2002. "Can financial markets be tapped to help poor people cope with weather risks ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2812, The World Bank.
    4. Harold Alderman & Trina Haque, 2007. "Insurance Against Covariate Shocks : The Role of Index-Based Insurance in Social Protection in Low-Income Countries of Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6736, March.
    5. Catherine Guirkinger & Stephen R. Boucher, 2008. "Credit constraints and productivity in Peruvian agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(3), pages 295-308, November.
    6. Nancy McCarthy, 2003. "Demand for rainfall-index based insurance: a case study from Morocco," EPTD discussion papers 106, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Antoine Leblois & Philippe Quirion & Agali Alhassane & Seydou Traoré, 2014. "Weather Index Drought Insurance: An Ex Ante Evaluation for Millet Growers in Niger," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(4), pages 527-551, April.
    2. Farrin, Kathleen M. & Miranda, Mario J., 2013. "Premium Benefits? A Heterogeneous Agent Model of Credit-Linked Index Insurance and Farm Technology Adoption," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149666, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Petraud, Jean & Boucher, Stephen & Carter, Michael, 2015. "Competing theories of risk preferences and the demand for crop insurance: Experimental evidence from Peru," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211383, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Chantarat, Sommarat & Mude, Andrew G. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Turvey, Calum G., 2017. "Welfare Impacts of Index Insurance in the Presence of a Poverty Trap," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 119-138.
    5. Sommarat CHANTARAT & Kirk PANNANGPETCH & Nattapong PUTTANAPONG & Thanasin TANOMPONGHANDH, 2013. "Index-Based Risk Financing and Development of Natural Disaster Insurance Programs in Developing Asian Countries," Working Papers DP-2013-09, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    6. Sommarat Chantarat, 2015. "Index-based Risk Financing and Development of Natural Disaster Insurance Programs in Developing Countries," PIER Discussion Papers 10., Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Nov 2015.
    7. repec:oup:apecpp:v:39:y:2017:i:2:p:199-219. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Hans P. Binswanger-Mkhize, 2012. "Is There Too Much Hype about Index-based Agricultural Insurance?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 187-200, February.
    9. Morsink,Karlijn & Clarke,Daniel Jonathan & Mapfumo,Shadreck, 2016. "How to measure whether index insurance provides reliable protection," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7744, The World Bank.
    10. Clarke,Daniel Jonathan & Wren-Lewis,Liam, 2016. "Solving commitment problems in disaster risk finance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7720, The World Bank.
    11. Jing Cai, 2016. "The Impact of Insurance Provision on Household Production and Financial Decisions," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 44-88, May.
    12. Karlan, Dean & Morduch, Jonathan, 2010. "Access to Finance," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    13. Diana Fletschner & Catherine Guirkinger & Steve Boucher, 2010. "Risk, Credit Constraints and Financial Efficiency in Peruvian Agriculture," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(6), pages 981-1002.
    14. Antoine Leblois & Philippe Quirion & Benjamin Sultan, 2013. "Price vs. weather shock hedging for cash crops: ex ante evaluation for cotton producers in Cameroon," CIRED Working Papers hal-00796528, HAL.
    15. Clarke,Daniel Jonathan & Mahul,Olivier & Verma,Niraj, 2012. "Improving farmers'access to agricultural insurance in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5987, The World Bank.
    16. Daniel J. Clarke, 2016. "A Theory of Rational Demand for Index Insurance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 283-306, February.
    17. Castillo, Maria Jose & Boucher, Stephen & Carter, Michael, 2016. "Index Insurance: Using Public Data to Benefit Small-Scale Agriculture," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 19(A).
    18. Platteau, Jean-Philippe & De Bock, Ombeline & Gelade, Wouter, 2017. "The Demand for Microinsurance: A Literature Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 139-156.

    More about this item


    Yield Insurance; Crop Insurance; Peru;

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products


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