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Showing posts from March, 2012

India’s new poverty numbers

Author: Shardul Oza
The Planning Commission has released new poverty estimates for the country, showing that the percentage of people living below the poverty line poor fell from from 37% to 29.8% from 2004-2005 to 2009-2010.  According to the Commission, the fall is poverty in directly attributable to the success of government welfare programs such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, a government scheme that guarantees rural Indians 100 days of paid work.

Why Index-Based Insurance Could Work

Author: Shardul Oza
A post by NYU researcher Jonathan Bauchet on the CGAP Microfinance Blog discusses some of the reasons behind the low takeup of microinsurance products.  Bauchet mentions results from CMF’s randomized controlled trial study of an index-based weather insurance product in rural Gujarat which show that price is a major barrier to adoption. (The studies, conducted in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, also find that trust and household liquidity constraints significantly impact takeup.)
He goes on to cite the promise of index-based insurance, new products which may help minimize the administrative and incentive problems associated with standard insurance programs. He writes: