Inter-American Development Bank
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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|October 2015||The Welfare Gains from Macro-Insurance Against Natural Disasters|
with Eduardo Borensztein, Olivier Jeanne: w21674
This paper uses a dynamic optimization model to estimate the welfare gains that a small open economy can derive from insuring against natural disasters with catastrophe (CAT) bonds. We calibrate the model by reference to the risk of earthquakes, floods and storms in developing countries. We find that the countries most vulnerable to these risks would find it optimal to use CAT bonds for insurance only if the cost of issuing these bonds were significantly smaller than it is in the data. The welfare gains from CAT bonds range from small to substantial depending on how insurance affects the country's external borrowing constraint. The option of using CAT bonds may bring a welfare gain of several percentage points of annual consumption by improving external debt sustainability. These large ga...
Published: Eduardo Borensztein & Eduardo Cavallo & Olivier Jeanne, 2016. "The Welfare Gains from Macro-Insurance Against Natural Disasters," Journal of Development Economics, . citation courtesy of
|March 2015||Precautionary Strategies and Household Saving|
with Joshua Aizenman, Ilan Noy: w21019
Why do people save? A strand of the literature has emphasized the role of ‘precautionary’ motives; i.e., private agents save in order to mitigate unexpected future income shocks. An implication is that in countries faced with more macroeconomic volatility and risk, private saving should be higher. From the observable data, however, we find a negative correlation between risk and private saving in cross-country comparisons, particularly in developing countries. We provide a plausible explanation for the disconnect between precautionary-saving theory and the empirical evidence that is based on a model with a richer account for the various modes of ‘precautionary’ behavior by private agents, in cases where institutions are weaker and labor informality is prevalent. In such environments, house...
Published: Joshua Aizenman & Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2015. "Precautionary Strategies and Household Saving," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 911-939, November. citation courtesy of
|September 2013||Prices and Supply Disruptions during Natural Disasters|
with Alberto Cavallo, Roberto Rigobon: w19474
We study the daily behavior of supermarket prices and product availability following two recent natural disasters: the 2010 earthquake in Chile and the 2011 earthquake in Japan. In both cases there was an immediate and persistent effect on product availability. The number of goods available for sale fell 32% in Chile and 17% in Japan from the day of the disaster to its lowest point, which occurred 61 and 18 days after the earthquakes, respectively. Product availability recovered slowly, and a significant share of goods remained out of stock after six months. By contrast, prices were relatively stable and did not increase for months after the earthquakes, even for goods that were experiencing severe stockouts. These trends are present at all levels of aggregation, but appear strongly in no...
Published: Marshall Reinsdorf & Robert Hill & Alberto Cavallo & Eduardo Cavallo & Roberto Rigobon, 2014. "Prices and Supply Disruptions during Natural Disasters," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60, pages S449-S471, November. citation courtesy of
|December 2004||Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, Or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality|
with Jeffrey A. Frankel: w10957
Openness to trade is one factor that has been identified as determining whether a country is prone to sudden stops in capital inflow, currency crashes, or severe recessions. Some believe that openness raises vulnerability to foreign shocks, while others believe that it makes adjustment to crises less painful. Several authors have offered empirical evidence that having a large tradable sector reduces the contraction necessary to adjust to a given cut-off in funding. This would help explain lower vulnerability to crises in Asia than in Latin America. Such studies may, however, be subject to the problem that trade is endogenous. We use the gravity instrument for trade openness, which is constructed from geographical determinants of bilateral trade. We find that openness indeed makes countries...
Published: Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2008. "Does openness to trade make countries more vulnerable to sudden stops, or less? Using gravity to establish causality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1430-1452, December. citation courtesy of