IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Limited insurance within the household: evidence from a field experiment in Kenya

  • Robinson, Jonathan

In many developing countries, unexpected income shocks are common, formal insurance is absent, and informal inter-household risk-sharing networks are unable to provide full insurance. An important question is therefore whether risk sharing within the household is effective. I conducted a field experiment in Western Kenya in which 142 married couples were followed for approximately 8 weeks. Every week, each individual had a 50% chance of receiving an income shock equivalent to a few days' income. Since these shocks are, by definition, small relative to lifetime income, they should not affect intra-household bargaining power and should only affect a Pareto efficient household through the pooled budget constraint. However, I find that men increase their private consumption when they receive the shock but not when their wives do, a rejection of efficiency. I present evidence that such behavior is not specific to the experiment - both husbands and wives spend more on themselves in weeks in which their labor income is higher. The results suggest that insurance is limited even within the households in this sample.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/32667/1/MPRA_paper_32667.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32667.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 10 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32667
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2002. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation, and Household Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 37-72, February.
  2. Garance Genicot & Gary Charness, 2004. "An Experimental Test of Risk-Sharing Arrangements," 2004 Meeting Papers 807, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Esther Duflo & Christopher Udry, 2004. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Cote d'Ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices," NBER Working Papers 10498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  5. Siwan Anderson, 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1323, Econometric Society.
  6. Pramila Krishnan & Stefan Dercon, 1997. "In sickness and in health ... risk-sharing within households in rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  8. repec:cdl:agrebk:2221195 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  10. Maurizio Mazzocco & Shiv Saini, 2012. "Testing Efficient Risk Sharing with Heterogeneous Risk Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 428-68, February.
  11. Dubois, Pierre & Ligon, Ethan A., 2011. "Incentives and nutrition for rotten kids: intrahousehold food allocation in the Philippines," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1114, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  12. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  13. Orazio Attansio & Abigail Barr & Juan Camilo Cardenas & Garance Genicot & Costas Mehgir, 2009. "Risk Pooling, Risk preferences, and Social Networks," CSAE Working Paper Series 2009-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  14. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther, 2006. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers 5968, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  16. John Hoddinott and Lawrence Haddad, 1994. "Does female income share influence household expenditures? evidence from Côte d`Ivoire," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1994-17, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, 1995. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, and the Family: Evidence from Transfer Behavior in Low-Income Rural Areas," Home Pages _075, University of Pennsylvania.
  18. Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Cynthia Kinnan & Horacio Larreguy, 2014. "Social Networks as Contract Enforcement: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field," NBER Working Papers 20259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Robinson, Jonathan & Yeh, Ethan, 2009. "Transactional sex as a response to risk in western Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4857, The World Bank.
  20. Vegard Iversen & Cecile Jackson & Bereket Kebede & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2006. "What’s love got to do with it ? An experimental test of household models in East Uganda," CSAE Working Paper Series 2006-01, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  21. Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
  22. Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
  23. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Risk pooling, commitment and information: An experimental test of two fundamental assumptions," Framed Field Experiments 00124, The Field Experiments Website.
  24. Akresh, Richard, 2005. "Understanding Pareto Inefficient Intrahousehold Allocations," IZA Discussion Papers 1858, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  26. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
  27. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 209-244.
  28. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
  29. Ravallion, Martin & Dearden, Lorraine, 1988. "Social Security in a "Moral Economy": An Empirical Analysis for Java," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 36-44, February.
  30. Vegard Iversen & Cecile Jackson & Bereket Kebede & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2010. "Do spouses realise cooperative gains? Experimental evidence from rural Uganda," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-02, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  31. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  32. Pedro Albarran & Orazio P. Attanasio, 2003. "Limited Commitment and Crowding out of Private Transfers: Evidence from a Randomised Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C77-C85, March.
  33. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  34. François Bourguignon & Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori, 2006. "Efficient Intra-household Allocations and Distribution Factors: Implications and Identification," CAM Working Papers 2006-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  35. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Browning, M. & Bourguignon, F. & Chiappori, P.A. & Lechene, V., 1992. "Incomes and Outcomes: A structural Model of Intra-Household Allocation," DELTA Working Papers 92-23, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  37. Doss, Cheryl R, 2001. "Is Risk Fully Pooled within the Household? Evidence from Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 101-30, October.
  38. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  39. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
  40. Ligon, Ethan, 1998. "Risk Sharing and Information in Village Economics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 847-64, October.
  41. Anderson, K.S. & Baland, J-M., 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Discussion Paper 2000-83, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  42. Gustavo J. Bobonis, 2009. "Is the Allocation of Resources within the Household Efficient? New Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 453-503, 06.
  43. Gary Charness & Garance Genicot, 2009. "Informal Risk Sharing in an Infinite-Horizon Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 796-825, 04.
  44. Nava Ashraf, 2009. "Spousal Control and Intra-household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1245-77, September.
  45. Shiv Saini & Maurizio Mazzocco, 2010. "Testing Efficient Risk Sharing with Heterogeneous Risk Preferences," 2010 Meeting Papers 237, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  46. John Hoddinott & Lawrence Haddad, 1994. "Does female income share influence household expenditures? Evidence from the Côte d'Ivoire," CSAE Working Paper Series 1994-17, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  47. Marcus Goldstein, 2004. "Intrahousehold efficiency and individual insurance in Ghana," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6644, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Limited Insurance within the Household: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya (AEJ:AE 2012) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32667. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.