Paper # Author Title
Rotating Savings and Credit Association (Rosca) is an important informal Financial institution in many parts of the world used by participants to share income risks. What is the role of Rosca when formal credit market is introduced? We develop a model in which risk-averse participants attempt to hedge against their private income shocks with access to both Rosca and the formal credit and investigate their interactions. Using the gap of the borrowing and saving interest rates as a measure of the imperfectness of the credit market, we compare three cases: (i) Rosca without credit market; (ii) Rosca with a perfect credit market; (iii) Rosca with an imperfect credit market. We show that a perfect credit market completely crowds out the role of Rosca. However, when credit market is present but imperfect, we show that Rosca and the formal credit market can complement each other in improving social welfare. Interestingly, we find that the social welfare in an environment with both Rosca and formal credit market does not necessarily increase monotonically as the imperfectness of the credit market converges to zero. Download Paper
We report results from a large randomized natural field experiment conducted in southwestern China in the context of insurance for sows. Our study sheds light on two important questions about microinsurance. First, how does access to formal insurance affect farmers' production decisions? Second, what explains the low takeup rate of formal insurance, despite substantial premium subsidy from the government? We find that providing access to formal insurance significantly increases farmers' tendency to raise sows. We argue that this finding also suggests that farmers are not previously insured efficiently through informal mechanisms. We also provide several pieces of evidence suggesting that trust, or lack thereof, for government-sponsored insurance products is a significant barrier for farmers' willingness to participate in the insurance program. Download Paper