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Lightning, IT diffusion and economic growth across US states

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Author Info

  • Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck

    ()
    (Department of Business and Economics)

  • Bentzen, Jeanet

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Selaya, Pablo

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Empirically, a higher frequency of lightning strikes is associated with slower growth in labor productivity across the 48 contiguous US states after 1990; before 1990 there is no correlation between growth and lightning. Other climate variables (e.g., temperature, rainfall and tornadoes) do not conform to this pattern. A viable explanation is that lightning influences IT diffusion. By causing voltage spikes and dips, a higher frequency of ground strikes leads to damaged digital equipment and thus higher IT user costs. Accordingly, the flash density (strikes per square km per year) should adversely affect the speed of IT diffusion. We find that lightning indeed seems to have slowed IT diffusion, conditional on standard controls. Hence, an increasing macroeconomic sensitivity to lightning may be due to the increasing importance of digital technologies for the growth process.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark in its series Discussion Papers of Business and Economics with number 2/2011.

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Length: 67 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2011_002

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Postal: Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Phone: 65 50 32 33
Fax: 65 50 32 37
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Web page: http://www.sdu.dk/ivoe
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Keywords: Climate; IT diffusion; economic growth;

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References

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  1. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2001. "Cross-Country Technology Diffusion: The Case of Computers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development," Working Papers in Economics 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 11 Aug 2000.
  5. Menzie D. Chinn & Robert Fairlie, 2004. "The Determinants of the Global Digital Divide: A Cross-Country Analysis of Computer and Internet Penetration," NBER Working Papers 10686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth Lee Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development among New World Economies," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  7. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2008. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions and the Great Divergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6751, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Kris James Mitchener & Ian W. McLean, 2001. "The Productivity of U.S. States Since 1880," School of Economics Working Papers 2001-08, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  9. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," Center for Development Economics 2010-07, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised May 2011.
  10. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
  12. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2008. "Climate Change and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 14132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck & Dalgaard, Carl-Johan, 2012. "Power outages and economic growth in Africa," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 7/2012, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
  2. Areendam Chanda & Bibhudutta Panda, . "Unbalanced Productivity Growth in US States: Evidence from Factor Prices," Departmental Working Papers 2012-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  3. Areendam Chanda & Bibhudutta Panda, . "Productivity Growth in Goods and Services across US States: What can We Learn from Factor Prices?," Departmental Working Papers 2011-16, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.

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