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The theory of livestock as a buffer stock predicts that agropastoralists facing substantial risks typically will use liquid assets, such as livestock, for self-insurance to smooth consumption. This paper examines this hypothesis for reindeer herders in Norway where the herders, in contrast to pastoralists in, say, Sub-Saharan Africa, face well functioning credit markets. Using survey data including slaughtering responses to a hypothetical meat price increase, the authors test whether keeping reindeer as insurance against risks affects the slaughter response.
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