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Offering Rainfall Insurance to Informal Insurance Groups: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Ethiopia

We show theoretically that the presence of basis risk in index insurance makes it a complement to informal risk sharing, implying that index insurance crowds-in risk sharing and leading to a prediction that demand will be higher among groups of individuals that can share risk. We report results from rural Ethiopia from a first attempt to market weather insurance products to existing informal risk-sharing groups. The groups were offered training on risk management and the possible benefits of holding insurance.

Index Insurance for Managing Climate-related Agricultural Risk: Toward a Strategic Research Agenda

In October 2011,the CGIAR program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Index Insurance Innovation Initiative (I4) organized a jointworkshop hosted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The workshop was designed to identify and address issues surrounding index‐based insurance for smallholder farmers and the rural poor in the developing world. Emphasis was placed on identifying key areas of research and learning for the academic and policy community to pursue.

Adoption of Weather-Index Insurance: Learning from Willingness to Pay Among a Panel of Households in Rural Ethiopia

In this paper we examine which farmers would be early entrants into weather index insurance markets in Ethiopia, were such markets to develop on a large scale. We do this by examining the determinants of willingness to pay for weather insurance among 1,400 Ethiopian households that have been tracked for 15 years as part of the Ethiopia Rural Household Survey. This provides both historical and current information with which to assess the determinants of demand. We find that educated, rich, and proactive individuals were more likely to purchase insurance.

An Experiment on the Impact of Weather Shocks and Insurance on Risky Investment

We conduct a framed field experiment in rural Ethiopia to test the seminal hypothesis that insurance provision induces farmers to take greater, yet profitable, risks. Farmers participated in a game protocol in which they were asked to make a simple decision: whether to purchase fertilizer, and if so, how many bags. The return to fertilizer was dependent on a stochastic weather draw made in each round of the game protocol. In later rounds of the game protocol, a random selection of farmers made this decision in the presence of a stylized weather-index insurance contract.

The Value of Customized Insurance for Farmers in Rural Bangladesh

Farmers in rural Bangladesh face multiple sources of uninsured risk to agricultural production and household assets. In this paper, we present results from an experimental demand - elicitation exercise in rural Bangladesh to shed light on smallholder farmers’ interest in formal insurance products. We propose a suite of insurance and savings products, and we randomly vary the price of one insurance option (area - yield insurance) and the presence of one of the savings options (group savings).

Innovations in Insuring the Poor

Risk and poverty are inextricably linked. Susceptibility to risk is a defining feature of what it means to be poor. Poor people often live in environments characterized by high weather and disease risk, and it is poor households that have the fewest tools to deal with drought, floods, and disease when they occur. Breaking the link between risk and poverty by insuring poor people both lessens the affliction of poverty and allows poor people to participate in income and growth.

Interplay Among Credit, Insurance and Savings for Farmers in Developing Countries

Agricultural income in low income countries is subject to many risks, much of which is uninsured. In this paper we examine the potential benefits of three financial products -weather index insurance, savings accounts, and insured agricultural loans- that could improve a household's ability to manage agricultural risks. We develop and estimate a dynamic stochastic model that explores the relative benefits of these three products by quantifying their impact on consumption, investment and welfare. The parameters of the model are calibrated with data from farmers in Ethiopia.

Flexible Insurance for Heterogeneous Farmers: Results from a Small Scale Pilot in Ethiopia

We analyze the effectiveness of a new approach in providing weather index-based insurance products to low-income populations. The approach is based on the concept of providing multiple weather securities that pay a fixed amount if the event written on the security (that monthly rainfall at a nearby weather station falls below a stated cutoff) comes true. A theoretical model is developed to outline the conditions in which weather securities could outperform crop-specific weather index-based insurance policies.

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