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Climate Shocks and Exports


  • Benjamin F. Jones
  • Benjamin A. Olken


This paper uses international trade data to examine the effects of climate shocks on economic activity. We examine panel models relating the annual growth rate of a country's exports in a particular product category to the country's weather in that year. We find that a poor country being 1 degree Celsius warmer in a given year reduces the growth rate of that country's exports by between 2.0 and 5.7 percentage points, with no detectable effects in rich countries. We find negative effects of temperature on exports of both agricultural products and light manufacturing products, with little apparent effects on heavy industry or raw materials. The results confirm large negative effects of temperature on poor countries' economies and suggest that temperature affects a much wider range of economic activity than conventionally thought.
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Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2010. "Climate Shocks and Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 454-459, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:2:p:454-59 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.2.454

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
    4. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrian Chadi, 2017. "There Is No Place like Work: Evidence on Health and Labor Market Behavior from Changing Weather Conditions," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201709, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    2. Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & Castells-Quintana, David & McDermott, Thomas K. J., 2017. "Geography, institutions and development: a review ofthe long-run impacts of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Joël CARIOLLE, 2014. "Corruption in Turbulent Times: a Response to Shocks?," Working Papers P106, FERDI.
    4. Bastos, Paulo & Straume, Odd Rune & Urrego, Jaime A., 2013. "Rain, agriculture, and tariffs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 364-377.
    5. Auffhammer, Maximilian & Schlenker, Wolfram, 2014. "Empirical studies on agricultural impacts and adaptation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 555-561.
    6. Paul Alagidede & George Adu & Prince Boakye Frimpong, 2016. "The effect of climate change on economic growth: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(3), pages 417-436, July.
    7. Cécile Couharde & Rémi Generoso, 2015. "Hydro-climatic thresholds and economic growth reversals in developing countries: an empirical investigation," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-26, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    8. Cattaneo, Cristina & Peri, Giovanni, 2016. "The migration response to increasing temperatures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 127-146.
    9. McCord, Gordon C. & Conley, Dalton & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 2017. "Malaria ecology, child mortality & fertility," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-17.
    10. Oliver Schenker, 2013. "Exchanging Goods and Damages: The Role of Trade on the Distribution of Climate Change Costs," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(2), pages 261-282, February.
    11. Joël CARIOLLE, 2014. "Corruption in Turbulent Times: a Response to Shocks?," Working Papers P106, FERDI.
    12. Fenske, James, 2010. "Institutions in African history and development: A review essay," MPRA Paper 23120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2013. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," NBER Working Papers 19578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Somlanare Romuald KINDA & Félix BADOLO, 2014. "Climatic Variability and Food Security in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201405, CERDI.
    15. Ferguson, Shon & Gars, Johan, 2015. "Productivity Shocks, International Trade and Pass-Through: Evidence from Agriculture," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211646, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Li, Chengzheng & Xiang, Xunyong & Gu, Haiying, 2015. "Climate shocks and international trade: Evidence from China," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 55-57.
    17. Somlanare Romuald Kinda, 2016. "Climatic shocks and food security: The role of foreign aid," Working Papers hal-01260846, HAL.
    18. Md Rajibul Ahsan & Son Ngoc Chu, 2014. "The Potential and Constraints of the Exports of Environmental Goods (EGs): the case of Bangladesh," ASARC Working Papers 2014-05, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    19. Burke, Marshall & Gong, Erick & Jones, Kelly, 2011. "Income shocks and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1146, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    20. David Castells-Quintana & Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Tom McDermott, 2015. "Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development," GRI Working Papers 198, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    21. Simo Leppänen & Svetlana Ledyaeva & Riitta Kosonen, 2016. "Weather as a Competitive Factor between Local and Foreign Manufacturing Companies in Russia," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 499-513, December.
    22. repec:spr:climat:v:143:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-017-2013-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Ole Theisen & Nils Gleditsch & Halvard Buhaug, 2013. "Is climate change a driver of armed conflict?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 613-625, April.
    24. Marshall Burke & Erick Gong & Kelly Jones, 2015. "Income Shocks and HIV in Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(585), pages 1157-1189, June.
    25. Matteo Lanzafame, 2014. "Temperature, rainfall and economic growth in Africa," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth


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