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The distributional impact of large dams: Evidence from cropland productivity in Africa

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  • Strobl, Eric
  • Strobl, Robert O.

Abstract

We examine the distributional impact of large dams on cropland productivity in Africa. As our unit of analysis we use a hydrology based spatial breakdown of the continent that allows one to exactly define regions in terms of their upstream/downstream relationship at a highly disaggregated level. We then use satellite data to derive measures of cropland productivity within these areas. Our econometric analysis shows that while regions downstream benefit from large dams, no beneficial effects accrue to cropland within the vicinity. Moreover, we find that the productivity enhancing impact of upstream dams is dependent on the local climate. Overall our results suggest that upstream dams have quantitatively on average provided up to 12% of the minimum daily per capita amount of kilocalorie needs in downstream communities and increased agricultural production by 1%.

Suggested Citation

  • Strobl, Eric & Strobl, Robert O., 2011. "The distributional impact of large dams: Evidence from cropland productivity in Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 432-450, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:96:y:2011:i:2:p:432-450
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Driscoll, John C., 2004. "Does bank lending affect output? Evidence from the U.S. states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 451-471, April.
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    6. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2010. "Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the African Growth Tragedy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 350-366, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aravind Moorthy & Thomas Coen & Katie Naeve & Jeremy Brecher-Haimson & Sarah Hughes, "undated". "Evaluation of the Irrigation and Water Resource Management Project in Senegal: Design Report," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c9f29d5746b14250b145a2030, Mathematica Policy Research.
    2. Sheila M. Olmstead & Hilary Sigman, 2015. "Damming the Commons: An Empirical Analysis of International Cooperation and Conflict in Dam Location," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 497-526.
    3. Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2015. "The Impacts of Infrastructure in Development: A Selective Survey," ADBI Working Papers 511, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    4. Mohammed, Y.S. & Mustafa, M.W. & Bashir, N., 2013. "Status of renewable energy consumption and developmental challenges in Sub-Sahara Africa," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 453-463.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dams Agricultural productivity Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • Q19 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Other

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