Subsidy Policies and Insurance Demand

Using data from a two-year pricing experiment, we study the impact of subsidy policies on weather insurance take-up. Results show that subsidies increase future insurance take-up through their influence on payout experiences. Exploring mechanisms of the payout effect, we find that for households that randomly benefited from financial education, receiving a payout provides a one-time learning experience that improves take-up permanently. In contrast, households with poor insurance knowledge continuously update take-up decisions based on recent experiences with disasters and payouts. Combining subsidy policies with financial education can thus be effective in promoting long-run insurance adoption.

Cai J., de Janvry A., Sadoulet E. (2020) “Subsidy policies and insurance demand”, American Economic Review 110(8): 2422-53.