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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 3 (May 2013)

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Informal Risk Sharing, Index Insurance, and Risk Taking in Developing Countries

Article Citation

Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, and Mark R. Rosenzweig. 2013. "Informal Risk Sharing, Index Insurance, and Risk Taking in Developing Countries." American Economic Review, 103(3): 375-80.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.375

Abstract

Preliminary findings are presented from a research project which examined the interactions between informal risk sharing, index insurance and risk-taking. Rainfall insurance contracts were randomly offered to cultivating and landless households in a set of Indian villages where preexisting census data on caste networks allowed the characterization of the nature and extent of informal risk sharing. We study how informal risk sharing mediates the demand for index insurance, whether index insurance or informal indemnification allows farmers to invest in risky technologies, and the general equilibrium effects of offering insurance contracts to cultivators and agricultural laborers.

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Authors

Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq (Yale U)
Rosenzweig, Mark R. (Yale U)

JEL Classifications

D81: Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
G22: Insurance; Insurance Companies
O12: Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O16: Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification


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