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Dry Times in Africa: Rainfall and Africa's Growth Performance

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  • Barrios, Salvador
  • Bertinelli, Luisito
  • Strobl, Eric

Abstract

While there have been some references in the literature to the potential role of the general decline in rainfall in sub-Saharan African nations on their poor growth performance relative to other developing countries, this avenue remains empirically unexplored. In this paper we use a new cross-country panel climate data set in an economic growth framework to explore the issue. Our results show that rainfall has been a significant determinants of poor economic growth for Africa but not for other developing countries. Depending on the benchmark measure of potential rainfall, we estimate that the direct impact under the scenario of no decline in rainfall would have resulted in a reduction of between 13 and 36 per cent of today's gap in African GDP per capita relative to the rest of the developing world.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5705.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5705

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Keywords: Development; Africa; Climate;

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References

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  1. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
  2. William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers, Center for International Development at Harvard University 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1997. "Explaining African economic performance," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-02.2, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Molua, Ernest L., 2002. "Climate variability, vulnerability and effectiveness of farm-level adaptation options: the challenges and implications for food security in Southwestern Cameroon," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 529-545, July.
  6. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  7. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  8. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  9. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers, Harvard - Institute for International Development 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  10. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  12. Drechsel, Pay & Gyiele, Lucy & Kunze, Dagmar & Cofie, Olufunke, 2001. "Population density, soil nutrient depletion, and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 251-258, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Eric Strobl & Luisito Bertinelli & Salvador Barrios, . "Climatic Change and Rural-Urban Migration: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers on International Economics and Finance 06-01, FEDEA.
  2. Naudé, Wim & Bezuidenhout, Henri, 2012. "Remittances provide resilience against disasters in Africa," MERIT Working Papers 026, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. Naude, Wim, 2008. "Conflict, Disasters, and No Jobs: Reasons for International Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) RP2008/85, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Bruno de Oliveira Cruz & Aude Pommeret, 2006. "Public Capital and Private Investment, a Real Option Approach," Discussion Papers, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA 1177, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  5. Wim Naudé, 2011. "Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of the Big Four," Working Papers, Maastricht School of Management 2011/34, Maastricht School of Management.
  6. 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.
  7. Wim Naudé & Henri Bezuidenhout, 2014. "Migrant Remittances Provide Resilience Against Disasters in Africa," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 42(1), pages 79-90, March.

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