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Abstract

The U.S. market in subsidized commodity revenue insurance contracts has expanded rapidly since 1996. By far the most prevalent contract forms are crop-specific, rather than the whole-farm design which has a better claim to being optimal. For an arbitrary acre allocation vector, this paper inquires into absolute and relative determinants of the actuarial costs of these forms. The actuarial value of whole-farm insurance increases under a particular characterization of >more systematic= risk, whereas the actuarial value of insurance through crop-specific contracts need not change. Upon fixing stochastic revenue interactions, we identify conditions such that the expected cost of revenue insurance via crop-specific contracts is increasing under a more dispersed vector of location-and-scale adjusted revenue guarantee parameters. Then we identify two precise requirements such that the actuarial values of the two contract forms converge. To give insights on the difference, fair premiums for whole-farm and crop-specific contracts are compared for typical farms in two states.

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