Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics
University of Maryland
2122 Symons Hall
College Park, MD 20742
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2016||Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance|
with Adam Szeidl: w22951
We organized business associations for the owner-managers of randomly selected young Chinese firms to study the effect of business networks on firm performance. We randomized 2,800 firms into small groups whose managers held monthly meetings for one year, and into a “no- meetings” control group. We find that: (1) The meetings increased firm revenue by 8.1 percent, and also significantly increased profit, factors, inputs, the number of partners, borrowing, and a management score; (2) These effects persisted one year after the conclusion of the meetings; and (3) Firms randomized to have better peers exhibited higher growth. We exploit additional interventions to document concrete channels. (4) Managers shared exogenous business-relevant information, particularly when they were not competitor...
|September 2016||Subsidy Policies and Insurance Demand|
with Alain de Janvry, Elisabeth Sadoulet: w22702
Many new products presumed to be privately beneficial to the poor have a high price elasticity of demand and ultimately zero take-up rate at market price. This has led governments and donors to provide subsidies to increase take-up, with the concern of trying to limit their cost. In this study, we use data from a two-year field experiment in rural China to define the optimum subsidy scheme that can insure a given take-up for a new weather insurance for rice producers. We build a model that includes the forces that are known to be determinants of insurance demand, provide reduced form confirmation of their importance, validate the dynamic model with out-of-sample predictions, and use it to conduct policy simulations. Results show that the optimum current subsidy necessary to achieve a desir...
|July 2016||Do Disaster Experience and Knowledge Affect Insurance Take-up Decisions?|
with Changcheng Song: w22403
This study examines the effect of experience and knowledge on weather insurance adoption. First, we conduct insurance games with farmers, and find that the treatment improves real insurance take-up by 46%. The effect is not driven by changes in risk attitudes and perceived probability of disasters, or by learning of insurance benefits, but is driven by the experience acquired in the game. Second, we find that providing information about the payout probability has a strong positive effect on insurance take-up. Finally, when subjects receive both treatments, the probability information has a greater impact on take-up than does the disaster experience.
Published: Jing Cai & Changcheng Song, 2016. "Do disaster experience and knowledge affect insurance take-up decisions?," Journal of Development Economics, .
|October 2011||The Value-Added Tax Reform Puzzle|
with Ann Harrison: w17532
We explore the impact of a tax reform in some provinces of China which eliminated the value-added tax on some investment goods. While the goal of the experiment was to encourage upgrading of technology, our results suggest that there was no evident increase overall in fixed investment, and employment fell significantly in the treated provinces and sectors. The reform reduced the total number of employees for all types of firms. For domestic firms, it reduced employment by almost 8%. Our results are robust to a variety of approaches, and suggest that the primary impact of the policy has been to induce labor-saving growth. This experiment has since been extended to the rest of China.