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Estimating Dynamic Contracts: Risk Sharing in Village Economies

  • Sarolta Laczo

    (European University Institute)

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    This paper studies the role of preference and income risk heterogeneity when risk sharing is partial due to limited commitment. I estimate the dynamic contract determining self-enforcing insurance transfers in a structural manner, and allow the coefficient of relative risk aversion and multiplicative income risk to differ across households. I find that the model explains the consumption allocation significantly better than the homogenous version and the benchmarks of perfect risk sharing and autarky, using household survey data from rural Pakistan. Enforcement constraints bind more often with heterogeneous households, implying less risk sharing. The paper then examines how social policies would interact with existing informal insurance arrangements. I simulate the effects of counterfactual transfers targeting the poor on consumption by both eligible and ineligible households. In the case of a one-time transfer, the heterogeneous (homogeneous) model predicts that consumption by ineligible households increases by one fifth (one fourth) of the transfer; if the transfer is permanent, the predicted share of ineligible households is one tenth (one fifth).

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    File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2010/paper_687.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 687.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:687
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    25. 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.
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    27. Alderman, Harold & Garcia, Marito, 1993. "Poverty, household food security, and nutrition in rural Pakistan:," Research reports 96, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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