tidbits #15

  • Microinsurance faces two problems: Data availability on weather variability; and farmers in SSA don’t trust/understand it very much: LINK
  • Insurance companies in Switzerland try to get customers to provide more information to them (e.g. via digital fitness bracelets) in order to group customers into `active’ and `inactive’. This obviously will affect customers’ insurance costs, but will it also `nudge‘ them towards a better behavior? Is this now  a libertarian means of helping customers to choose? Or a paternalistic means of splitting customers into groups and forcing them to be active? Or the impossible mix between the two? I’ll write more on this soon.
  • Should or shouldn’t we take the market out of conservation? I have discussed this before HERE, and it is a recurring theme. Whenever something crops up here and there then this means it is a particular difficult question without a proper answer yet. A researcher who spent much of his time thinking about this question is Clive Splash, whose contributions you should definitely read if this is a topic that interests you. My main point is that we tend to introduce a market simply BECAUSE there was an issue with the conservation in the first place. Usually, conservation does not work because there are no property rights attached to whatever was supposed to be conserved in the first place, and thus the standard Tragedy of the Commons kicks in. By introducing property rights and creating a market this may actually lead to more conservation. Here the problem is of course whether the market works well, etc. So introducing a market can’t always be an answer – especially if the market cannot attach the `right’ value. There is no simple answer to this, unfortunately.
  • I updated the Environmental Economics calendar with the Paris 1 Environmental Economics Seminars, and also added some further conferences. It seems the calendar, for whatever reason, does not show the conferences after January 2016, but I hope I can find a way to fix this. Windows…
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