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Assessing the Impact of Public Transfers on Private Risk Sharing Arrangements: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mexico

  • Marina Pavan

    (The Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Aldo Colussi

    (University of Western Ontario)

We adopt a structural estimation approach to studying the effects of public transfers on consumption smoothing, risk sharing and welfare in small village economies. We estimate the key parameters of a dynamic limited commitment model using data gathered as part of the Mexican Progresa program, and take advantage of the randomized experimental design of the data to validate the model using the treatment sample. The limited commitment model enriched to allow for unobserved heterogeneity in preferences can reasonably well explain consumption dynamics and cross-sectional distributions. The estimated model correctly predicts the increase in consumption smoothing and risk sharing within transfers recipients, and the decrease in risk sharing between beneficiaries and non beneficiaries of the program.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 743.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:743
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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  1. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
  2. Donald Cox & Bruce E. Hansen & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1997. "How Responsive are Private Transfers to Income? Evidence from a Laissez-Faire Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 341., Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Dec 1999.
  3. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo, 2006. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: The Case of Progresa and Consumption," IZA Discussion Papers 1955, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Masao Ogaki & Qiang Zhang, 2000. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1588, Econometric Society.
  6. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  7. Albarran, Pedro & Attanasio, Orazio P., 2002. "Do Public Transfers Crowd Out Private Transfers? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Mexico," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  8. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  9. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
  10. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2007. "Heterogeneity, Risk Sharing and the Welfare Costs of Risk," 2007 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. 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.
  12. Cagetti, Marco, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation over the Life Cycle and Precautionary Savings," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 339-53, July.
  13. 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.
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