Risk Pooling through Transfers in Rural Ethiopia
It is often assumed that transfers received from governments, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), friends and relatives help rural households to pool risk. In this paper I investigate two functions of transfers in Ethiopia: risk pooling and income redistribution. Unlike most of the literature this paper investigates not only whether but also how much risk pooling is achieved. I find evidence that transfers from governments/NGOs play a role in insuring covariant income shocks, (weak) evidence that transfers from friends/relatives insure idiosyncratic income shocks and evidence that transfers target the poor households. However, the contributions of transfers to risk pooling and income redistribution are economically very limited.