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Agricultural Insurance And Economic Development

Shawn A. Cole, Wentao Xiong

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This article provides a review of recent research on agricultural insurance (AI) in developing countries. Agricultural producers face a variety of significant risks; historically, only government-subsidized products have achieved widespread adoption. A recent contractual innovation, which links insurance payouts to realized weather rather than farmer indemnity, has spurred substantial research in the past decade. This review begins by describing the experience in developed economies and then turns to developing countries, covering the following topics: farmers' adoption of AI, how AI affects their decision to invest in risky assets, and the extent to which AI helps farmers smooth income and consumption. We conclude with suggestions for future research and practice related to AI in developing countries.