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Informal Insurance in Social Networks

Author

Listed:
  • Francis Bloch
  • Garance Genicot

Abstract

This paper studies bilateral insurance schemes across networks of individuals. While transfers are based on social norms, individuals must have the incentive to comply. We investigate the structure of self-enforcing insurance networks. Network links play two distinct and possibly conflictual roles. They act as conduits for both transfers and information; affecting the scope for insurance and the severity of punishments upon noncompliance. Their interaction leads to a characterization of stable networks as suitably "sparse" networks. Thickly and thinly connected networks tend to be stable, whereas intermediate degrees of connectedness jeopardize stability. Finally, we discuss the effect of discounting on stability.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Francis Bloch & Garance Genicot, 2005. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," 2005 Meeting Papers 156, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:156
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Francis Bloch (GREQAM and Universite de la Mediterranee), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University, and Debraj Ray (New York University and Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)), 2004. "Informal Insurance in Social Networks," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-16, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social networks; informal insurance.;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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