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Social Networks and the Decision to Insure

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  • Cai, Jing
  • de Janvry, Alain
  • Sadoulet, Elisabeth

Abstract

Using data from a randomized experiment in rural China, this paper studies the influence of social networks on weather insurance adoption and the mechanisms through which social networks operate. To quantify network effects, the experiment offers intensive information sessions about the insurance product to a random subset of farmers. For untreated farmers, the effect of having an additional treated friend on take-up is equivalent to granting a 15% reduction in the insurance premium. By varying the information available about peers’ decisions and using randomized default options, the experiment shows that the network effect is driven by the diffusion of insurance knowledge rather than purchase decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cai, Jing & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2013. "Social Networks and the Decision to Insure," MPRA Paper 46861, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46861
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social network; Insurance demand; Learning;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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