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Risk Pooling through Transfers in Rural Ethiopia

Listed author(s):
  • Lei Pan

    ()

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

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It is often assumed that transfers received from governments, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), friends and relatives help rural households to pool risk. In this paper I investigate two functions of transfers in Ethiopia: risk pooling and income redistribution. Unlike most of the literature this paper investigates not only whether but also how much risk pooling is achieved. I find evidence that transfers from governments/NGOs play a role in insuring covariant income shocks, (weak) evidence that transfers from friends/relatives insure idiosyncratic income shocks and evidence that transfers target the poor households. However, the contributions of transfers to risk pooling and income redistribution are economically very limited.

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Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 07-014/2.

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Date of creation: 26 Jan 2007
Date of revision: 28 Sep 2007
Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20070014
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  1. Marcel Fafchamps, 2003. "Rural Poverty, Risk and Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3127.
  2. Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 311-335.
  3. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Are the poor less well insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 61-81, February.
  4. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
  5. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 1998. "Changes in poverty in rural Ethiopia 1989-1995: measurement, robustness tests and decomposition," CSAE Working Paper Series 1998-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Travis J. Lybbert & Christopher B. Barrett & Solomon Desta & D. Layne Coppock, 2004. "Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 750-777, October.
  7. Fafchamps, Marcel & Gubert, Flore, 2007. "The formation of risk sharing networks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 326-350, July.
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