Lightning, IT Diffusion and Economic Growth across US States
AbstractEmpirically, 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 InfoPaper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 09-18.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
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climate; IT diffusion; economic growth;
Other versions of this item:
- Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Pablo Selaya, 2012. "Lightning, IT Diffusion, and Economic Growth Across U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 903-924, November.
- Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck & Bentzen, Jeanet & Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Selaya, Pablo, 2011. "Lightning, IT diffusion and economic growth across US states," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 2/2011, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O51 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
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