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Does El Nino Affect Business Cycles


  • Thanarak Laosuthi

    (University of Kentucky)

  • David D. Selover

    () (Old Dominion University)


In this paper we test to see if the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon has an influence on national business cycles. If El Niño has any effect at all on business cycles and economic growth, one would expect it, at the very least, to affect small, undiversified economies highly dependent on agriculture and fishing. However, we find that while El Niño exhibits some influence on South Africa, Australia, and perhaps India, there is surprisingly little statistically significant effect on GDP growth or on price inflation in the other countries in our sample. Moreover, we see little significant El Niño effect on agricultural commodity prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Thanarak Laosuthi & David D. Selover, 2007. "Does El Nino Affect Business Cycles," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 21-42, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:33:y:2007:i:1:p:21-42

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allan D. Brunner, 2002. "El Niño and World Primary Commodity Prices: Warm Water or Hot Air?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 176-183, February.
    2. Letson, David & McCullough, B.D., 2001. "ENSO and Soybean Prices: Correlation without Causality," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(03), pages 513-521, December.
    3. Engle, R. F. & Granger, C. W. J. (ed.), 1991. "Long-Run Economic Relationships: Readings in Cointegration," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283393, June.
    4. Richard M. Adams & Stephen Polasky, 1998. "The Value of El Niño Forecasts in the Management of Salmon: A Stochastic Dynamic Assessment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(4), pages 765-777.
    5. Richard M. Adams & Kelly J. Bryant & Bruce A. Mccarl & David M. Legler & James O'Brien & Andrew Solow & Rodney Weiher, 1995. "Value Of Improved Long-Range Weather Information," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 10-19, July.
    6. Norrbin, Stefan C. & Schlagenhauf, Don E., 1988. "An inquiry into the sources of macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 43-70, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bastianin, Andrea & Lanza, Alessandro & Manera, Matteo, 2016. "Economic Impacts of El Niño Southern Oscillation: Evidence from the Colombian Coffee Market," EIA: Climate Change: Economic Impacts and Adaptation 250258, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    2. Marie, Kimberly & Solis, Daniel & Thomas, Michael & Alvarez, Sergio, 2016. "Does Climate Variability Affect the Financial Sustainability of Farmers in Florida? A Causality Analysis," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229596, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. Daniel Parra-Amado & Davinson Stev Abril-Salcedo & Luis Fernando Melo-Velandia, 2016. "Impactos de los fenómenos climáticos sobre el precio de los alimentos en Colombia," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 34(80), pages 146-158, June.
    4. repec:eee:inecon:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:37-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cashin, Paul & Mohaddes, Kamiar & Raissi, Mehdi, 2017. "Fair weather or foul? The macroeconomic effects of El Niño," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 37-54.
    6. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:490-502 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ubilava, David, 2017. "The ENSO Effect and Asymmetries in Wheat Price Dynamics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 490-502.
    8. Smith, Sarah C. & Ubilava, David, 2017. "The El Niño Southern Oscillation and Economic Growth in the Developing World," Working Papers 2017-11, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised May 2017.
    9. Ubilava, David, 2016. "The Role of El Niño Southern Oscillation in Commodity Price Movement and Predictability," Working Papers 2016-10, University of Sydney, School of Economics.

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