American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(1), 104-35
55 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2009 Last revised: 22 Jan 2013
Date Written: April 11, 2012
Why do many households remain exposed to large exogenous sources of non-systematic income risk? We use a series of randomized field experiments in rural India to test the importance of price and non-price factors in the adoption of an innovative rainfall insurance product. Demand is significantly price sensitive, but widespread take-up would not be achieved even if the product offered a payout ratio comparable to U.S. insurance contracts. We present evidence suggesting that lack of trust, liquidity constraints and limited salience are significant non-price frictions that constrain demand. We suggest contract design improvements to mitigate these frictions.
Keywords: Insurance, Household Finance, Trust, Liquidity Constraints, Financial Literacy, Economic Development
JEL Classification: G22, C93, O16, D14, G11, G20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Cole, Shawn Allen and Giné, Xavier and Tobacman, Jeremy and Townsend, Robert M. and Topalova, Petia B. and Vickery, James I., Barriers to Household Risk Management: Evidence from India (April 11, 2012). Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper No. 09-116; American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(1), 104-35; Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper No. 09-116; FRB of New York Staff Report No. 373. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1374076 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1374076