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Insurance, Credit and Safety Nets for the Poor in a World of Risk

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  • Daniel Clarke
  • Sefan Dercon

Abstract

This paper asks how insurance can be more effectively delivered to the poor, and what its role should be relative to other microfinance programmes, safety nets and informal insurance systems. We focus on the various interactions, including how insurance may crowd out credit and informal insurance, and implications for the design of insurance schemes. We argue that well-designed insurance schemes, building on existing informal systems, and focusing on catastrophic and serious covariate risks, could offer protection against risk and contribute to poverty reduction beyond the combined impact of microcredit programmes, safety nets and existing informal mutual support systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Clarke & Sefan Dercon, 2009. "Insurance, Credit and Safety Nets for the Poor in a World of Risk," Working Papers 81, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  • Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:81
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    File URL: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2009/wp81_2009.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2003. "Food aid and informal insurance," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-01, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Awel Y. & Azomahou T.T., 2015. "Risk preference or financial literacy? Behavioural experiment on index insurance demand," MERIT Working Papers 005, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Farrin, Kathleen M. & Miranda, Mario J., 2013. "Premium Benefits? A Heterogeneous Agent Model of Credit-Linked Index Insurance and Farm Technology Adoption," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149666, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Ruth Vargas Hill & John Hoddinott & Neha Kumar, 2013. "Adoption of weather-index insurance: learning from willingness to pay among a panel of households in rural Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(4-5), pages 385-398, July.
    4. Renuka Sane & Susan Thomas, 2016. "From participation to repurchase: Low income households and micro-insurance," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2016-019, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    5. Dabla-Norris, Era & Bal Gündüz, Yasemin, 2014. "Exogenous Shocks and Growth Crises in Low-Income Countries: A Vulnerability Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 360-378.
    6. Jackeline Velazco & Ramon Ballester, 2016. "Food Access and Shocks in Rural Households: Evidence from Bangladesh and Ethiopia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(2), pages 527-549, November.
    7. Farrin, Katie & Miranda, Mario J., 2015. "A heterogeneous agent model of credit-linked index insurance and farm technology adoption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 199-211.
    8. Renuka Sane & Susan Thomas, 2017. "From Participation To Repurchase: Low Income Households And Micro-Insurance," Working Papers id:11696, eSocialSciences.
    9. Tran, Van Q., 2015. "Household's coping strategies and recoveries from shocks in Vietnam," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 15-29.
    10. Platteau, Jean-Philippe & De Bock, Ombeline & Gelade, Wouter, 2017. "The Demand for Microinsurance: A Literature Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 139-156.
    11. Hill, Ruth Vargas & Robles, Miguel, 2011. "Flexible insurance for heterogeneous farmers: Results from a small-scale pilot in Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1092, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Heenkenda, Shirantha, 2011. "Prospective Demand for an Index-Based Microinsurance in Sri Lanka," MPRA Paper 54420, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2011.
    13. You, Jing, 2014. "Risk, under-investment in agricultural assets and dynamic asset poverty in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 27-45.
    14. Kailash Chandra Pradhan & Shrabani Mukherjee, 2016. "Covariate and Idiosyncratic Shocks and Coping Strategies for Poor and Non-poor Rural Households in India," Working Papers 2016-139, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risks; Microcredit; Microinsurance; Safety nets;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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