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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.

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