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Patternsof rainfall insurance participation in rural India

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  • Gine, Xavier
  • Townsend, Robert
  • Vickery, James

Abstract

This paper describes the contract design and institutional features of an innovative rainfall insurance policy offered to smallholder farmers in rural India, and presents preliminary evidence on the determinants of insurance participation. Insurance takeup is found to be decreasing in basis risk between insurance payouts and income fluctuations, increasing in household wealth and decreasing in the extent to which credit constraints bind. These results match with predictions of a simple neoclassical model appended with borrowing constraints. Other patterns are less consistent with the"benchmark"model; namely, participation in village networks and measures of familiarity with the insurance vendor are strongly correlated with insurance takeup decisions, and risk-averse households are found to be less, not more, likely to purchase insurance. We suggest that these results reflect household uncertainty about the product itself, given their limited experience with it.

Suggested Citation

  • Gine, Xavier & Townsend, Robert & Vickery, James, 2007. "Patternsof rainfall insurance participation in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4408, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4408
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Youngjae Lim & Robert Townsend, 1998. "General Equilibrium Models of Financial Systems: Theory and Measurement in Village Economies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 59-118, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ; Access to Finance; Banks&Banking Reform; Debt Markets; Insurance&Risk Mitigation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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