Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



Microinsurance, the provision of standard insurance products to the poor, has expanded its reach and scope dramatically over the last decade. Some development economists hope that microinsurance can become one of the levers for breaking the poverty trap by being a safety net for low-income individuals. However, the literature on the impact of microinsurance on clients in developing countries is limited and focuses predominantly on its microeconomic impact either using anecdotal evidence or qualitative analysis. This paper empirically explores the purpose microinsurance serves in development by examining the impact of microinsurance on the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education. Using a rich dataset on the provision of microinsurance products in Africa, I find that life microinsurance products have a measurable effect on educational attainment.

Level of Honors

cum laude




Merton Finkler and Tsvetanka Karagyozova