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Financial services for the poor: Essays on micro-insurance and informal groups

This thesis contains four independent chapters that contribute to our understanding of accessibility to financial services and, in particular, insurance coverage and risk-management mechanisms in developing countries.

Catégorie : défense de thèse
Date : 12/02/2015 16:00 - 12/02/2015 18:00
Lieu : E13 - FSESG
Orateur(s) : Ombeline DE BOCK
Organisateur(s) : Pierrette NOEL
Chapter one and two feature two literature reviews on the topic of micro-insurance. Micro-insurance has recently received much attention as a promising tool to protect poor individuals from important shocks. Yet, demand for novel micro-insurance products has been low, shedding doubts on the viability of micro-insurance as a useful risk-management tool. A review of more than 30 studies reveals trust, liquidity constraints, the quality of the insurance product and behavioral constraints to be the most important determinants of uptake of the insurance. The second chapter provides a selective overview of the current state of research on the impact of micro-insurance. The analysis reveals that micro-insurance seems to achieve markedly positive results under specific provisions.

Chapter three and four present original work on individual participation to informal groups and social exclusion. These two chapters are based on unique first-hand data I collected in rural Rwanda. In particular, Chapter three endeavours to shed light into the presumption of inclusiveness of informal groups both for less wealthy individuals and non-native villagers. We find that individuals who have been particularly exposed to a traumatic event are more likely to solicit membership in groups as well as the inclusion of less wealthy individuals in groups offering insurance services. In Chapter four, I take a different perspective and examine the interplay between formalization and the degree of social connectedness within financial groups in an environment of limited commitment issues. This last chapter tests whether the substitution hypothesis on real world data and discusses the mechanisms through which the effect occurs.

Promoteurs: Catherine Guirkinger et Jean-Philippe Platteau.

Président: Jean-Marie Baland

Secrétaire: Catherine Guirkinger.

Autres membres du jury: Dr Markus Golstein (Banque Mondiale); Dr. Renate Hartwig (University of Pasau); Guilhem Cassan


















Contact : Pierrette Noël - 081/724823 -
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