Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Publications Consumption insurance in networks with asymmetric information

Consumption insurance in networks with asymmetric information

Journal article | Journal of the European Economic Association

This paper uses a dataset from Tanzania with information on consumption, income and income shocks within and across family networks. Crucially and uniquely, it also contains data on the degree of information existing between each pair of households within family networks. We use these data to construct a novel measure of the quality of information both at the level of household pairs and at the level of the network. We also note that the individual level measures can be interpreted as measures of network centrality. We study risk sharing within these networks and explore whether the rejection of perfect risk sharing that we observe can be related to our measures of information quality. We show that households within family networks with better information are less vulnerable to idiosyncratic shocks. Furthermore, we show that more central households within networks are less vulnerable to idiosyncratic shocks. These results have important implications for the characterisation of the empirical failure of the perfect risk sharing hypothesis and point to the importance of information frictions.

More on this topic

IFS Working Paper W20/32
In this paper, I study the effect of unfinished sewerage infrastructure on early-life mortality in Peru. I compile several sources of administrative panel data for 1,400 districts spanning 2005–2015, and I rely on the budgetary plans and timing of expenditure for 6,000 projects to measure ...
External publication
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and associated containment measures are expected to cause far-reaching damage to economies around the world. Firms are suffering from reduced demand due to movement restrictions, from reduced labour supply and from constraints to sourcing material inputs. The ...
External publication
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and associated containment measures are expected to cause far-reaching damage to economies around the world. Firms are suffering from reduced demand due to movement restrictions, from reduced labor supply and from constraints to sourcing material inputs. The ...
IFS Working Paper W20/21
Youth unemployment in Ghana increases in parental wealth. This occurs because, without unemployment insurance, only workers with sufficiently high parental wealth can afford to remain unemployed, and do so to search for scarce, high-productivity jobs.