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Rain, temperature and agricultural production: The impact of climate change in Sub-Sahara Africa, 1961-2009


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  • Andreas Exenberger


  • Andreas Pondorfer



This paper is about the effect of climate change on Sub-Sahara African (SSA) agricultural production in a post-colonial setting. While agricultural production certainly is the result of a multi-dimensional process (influenced by diverse branches of politics, by technology, and also by trade patters and violent conflicts, among others), already the partial analysis of the most obvious factors of influence is certainly valuable in the African case. Since agriculture is not only the single most important sector for the greatest majority of people there, but also a low-tech endeavor in Africa, the impact of temperature and particularly rainfall is crucial – to the point of life-threatening crop failure. In sum, we are able to shown that climate change influenced agricultural production in Sub-Sahara Africa in an unfavourable way. When considering traditional and modern inputs (labour, land and livestock, as well as capital and fertilizer, respectively) in a fixed-effects-model, particularly the effect of rainfall is significantly positive and important. Further, by separating countries into a low- and a med-tech group (with respect to modern inputs), different relationships between the standard factors can be revealed, and by refining the specification with respect to regional climatic differences some complexities in these general patterns can be shown.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2011-26.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2011-26

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Keywords: Sub-Sahara Africa; agriculture; climate change; panel regression;

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  1. Van Zyl, J. & Vink, N. & Fenyes, T. I., 1987. "Labour-related structural trends in South African maize production," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 241-258, October.
  2. Wiebe, Keith D. & Soule, Meredith J. & Narrod, Clare A. & Breneman, Vincent E., 2000. "Resource Quality And Agricultural Productivity: A Multi-Country Comparison," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) 21723, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  4. Fulginiti, Lilyan E. & Perrin, Richard K. & Yu, Bingxin, 2004. "Institutions and agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 169-180, December.
  5. Frisvold, George & Ingram, Kevin, 1995. "Sources of agricultural productivity growth and stagnation in sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 51-61, October.
  6. Nkamleu, Guy Blaise, 2008. "Investigating the Sources of Agricultural Growth in Africa: Factor Accumulation, Total Factor Productivity, and Technology Absorption," 2007 Second International Conference, August 20-22, 2007, Accra, Ghana, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) 52108, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
  7. Boubacar, Inoussa, 2010. "Agricultural Productivity, Drought, and Economic Growth in Sahel," 2010 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2010, Orlando, Florida, Southern Agricultural Economics Association 56321, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  8. Antle, John M, 1983. "Infrastructure and Aggregate Agricultural Productivity: International Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 609-19, April.
  9. Mirotchie, Mesfin & Taylor, Daniel B., 1993. "Resource allocation and productivity of cereal state farms in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 187-197, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Exenberger Andreas & Pondorfer Andreas, 2013. "Climate Change and the Risk of Mass Violence: Africa in the 21st Century," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 381-392, December.


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