November 2012 - Cole Shawn, Bastian Gautam, Vyas Sangita, Wendel Carina and Stein Daniel
In the absence of formal insurance, most farmers with small land holdings in the developing world rely on community safety nets for risk management. During droughts or other extreme weather events these informal mechanisms tend to break down often forcing smallholders to sell valuable assets, cut back on health spending and take their children out of school. This policy brief provides a summary of a recent systematic review of the available empirical evidence on weather indexed insurance and finally some recommendations for the way forward for policy and research on this topic..
November 2012 - Adhikari Samik, Bastian Gautam Gustav, Cole Shawn and Yanagizawa-Drott David
This policy paper reports on a series of interventions designed to enable farmers to use information from futures markets with the goal of helping them improve agricultural planning and decision-making, reduce their risk exposure, and increase harvest time revenue..
November 2012 - Pande Rohini, Cole Shawn, Sivasankaran Anitha, Bastian Gautam and Durlacher Katherine
We report the results of a systematic review of the empirical literature investigating the impact of access to formal banking services on the income of the poor. Taking a functional approach to finance, we define formal banking services to include lending, savings and payment services. We considered banking services provided by public and private commercial and development banks, as well as banking services from “specialized non-bank financial institutions” including rural banks, savings and loans institutions, and postal banks. Microcredit, micro-lending and mobile bank services were excluded from our review.
August 2012 - Kc Deepti and Rao Ashok
A Policy Memo detailing the latest findings on whether the RBI regulations align with the profiles of the MFI clients. This policy memo describes the borrowing and savings patterns of MFI clients and makes some key recommendations with respect to the current RBI guidelines regarding the eligibility of MFIs for priority sector lending.
April 2012 - Mobarak Mushfiq, Nestor Lisa and Agarwal Surabhi
A policy memo summarizing evidence of the existence of informal insurance networks and the extent of such informal exchanges in community level financial management when it comes to weather insurance. The study aims to provide information regarding the interaction of the informal and formal insurance markets, assessing the demand for the product.
March 2012 - Mobarak Mushfiq, Nestor Lisa, Agarwal Surabhi and Zelenska Tetyana
This paper will be organized by first summarizing evidence of the existence of informal insurance networks and the extent of such informal exchanges in community level financial management. It will then provide information regarding the interaction of the informal and formal insurance markets, assessing the demand for the product. Finally, it will discuss the main policy implications of the research, including the impact of various marketing techniques, variations in basis risk and the impact of price subsidies on take-up of the index-based rainfall insurance product..
March 2012 - Balantrapu Tanay and Rao Manaswini
The study of how network structures influence economic activity is increasingly becoming the subject of interest within Development Economics. It has been known for a while now that patterns of social interaction influence an individual’s economic behaviour including employment, career choice, consumption, investment, risk sharing and participation in microfinance. For instance, information regarding jobs is often disseminated through social networks. Tanay and Manaswini throw more light on the research studies carried out in this area…
November 2011 - Agarwal Abhay
This study presents results from an impact evaluation of a program wherein estimation techniques are used in identifying and helping the poorest of the poor, enabling them to elevate and maintain higher levels of income. The programme was administered in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, conducted by researchers at the Centre for Microfinance (CMF). CMF conducted baseline and post-program surveys with nearly 1,000 households, half of which were randomly offered to participate in Bandhan’s Targeting the Hard-core Poor (THP) program. All program beneficiaries are women.
November 2011 - Agarwal Abhay
A study conducted by the Centre for Microfinance (CMF) in 5 districts of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat looked deeper into identifying the reasons for the low take-up of rainfall insurance products using a statistically rigorous methodology (Randomized Controlled Trials – RCTs).
October 2011 - Agarwal Abhay
Agents continue to be the lifeblood of India’s life insurance sector, even with rapid urbanisation and advent of customer-friendly technologies. As there are several complexities associated with the sector, most consumers prefer taking the agent route to purchase a policy rather than through direct purchase. This document gives us a fair idea on the role played these financial intermediaries.