Understanding pastoralists’ dynamic insurance uptake decisions: Evidence from four-year panel data in Ethiopia uri icon

abstract

  • Despite the demonstrated benefits of index insurance, its adoption rate remains low in many developing countries. While a growing literature explores the factors associated with insurance uptake, we still know little about its dynamic patterns. Using a unique data set covering four years and six semi-annual sales periods of an index-based livestock insurance (IBLI) product in southern Ethiopia, we examine the dynamics of pastoralists' demand for IBLI. We find that reduced insurance premiums induce households to purchase IBLI. While a oneshot subsidy can create a price reference point that may reduce the subsequent uptake, we do not find such price anchoring effects. We also find that overall uptake decision is positively correlated intertemporally, although there is no strong evidence for learning by doing or learning from others. Finally, we show that pastoralists are more likely to purchase IBLI when drought risk is high, consistent with the existence of spatiotemporal adverse selection. We discuss the potential of distributing discount coupons to trigger initial uptake and adjusting premium rates dynamically to avoid spatiotemporal adverse selection as effective policy tools toward sustainable livestock insurance. Overall, our study signifies the importance of an empirical analysis that considers the dynamic demand structure.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020