Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?

Orazio Attanasio, José Víctor Ríos-Rull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


In this paper we study the effects of certain types of public compulsory insurance arrangements for aggregate shocks on private allocations in environments with limited commitment. We show that this type of insurance can improve the wellbeing of private situations, but it can also deteriorate it. We also describe how different characteristics of the environment affect the role of public insurance. Using data on the Mexican PROGRESA program, we document the impact that some government programs have in crowding out private transfers. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1225-1258
Number of pages34
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000


  • Consumption smoothing
  • Incomplete contracts
  • Public insurance

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