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Abstract

Markets for transferring catastrophic risk in agriculture are woefully lacking in developing countries. Even in developed countries, markets for transferring the risk of crop losses caused by natural hazards generally exist only with large government subsidies. However, such subsidies can be expensive, inefficient, and have detrimental implications that make future catastrophes even worse. In developing countries fiscal constraints limit the degree to which governments can subsidize markets for agricultural risk-sharing. Nonetheless, there are specific things governments can do to facilitate the development of these markets. This paper addresses the role of government in agricultural risk-sharing for natural disasters that impact crop yields or livestock mortality.

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