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Extreme weather and economic well-being in rural Mozambique


  • Corene Matyas


  • Julie Silva


Societies dependent on rain-fed agriculture are highly vulnerable to weather extremes; thus, linkages between rainfall variability and economic well-being merit close attention. The hypothesis of this paper is that rainfall patterns impact changes in income within our study region of central and northern Mozambique. Utilizing satellite-based estimates of rainfall analyzed within a GIS, we establish a 12-year rainfall climatology and calculate monthly rainfall anomalies for 419 villages during three growing seasons. We also approximate storm-total rainfall from tropical cyclones entering the Mozambique Channel. Hierarchical cluster analysis groups the villages according to the monthly rainfall anomalies and rainfall received from Cyclones Delfina and Japhet. Then, using data from the National Agricultural Survey of Mozambique conducted in 2002 and 2005, we relate rainfall and change in income through the calculation of Pearson’s correlation coefficients and independent-samples t tests using village-groups produced by the cluster analysis. We find that no season closely approximates the 12-year climatology and that rainfall varied among the three seasons. Although most villages experience income declines, those affected by Delfina exhibit the worst economic performance, indicating that heavy rainfall from some tropical cyclones can have long-lasting negative effects on income. Additionally, receiving above-normal rainfall may hinder economic well-being more than below-normal rainfall. Our study identifies patterns in sub-national rainfall variability and economic well-being that enable a more detailed understanding of weather-related effects on socio-economic outcomes. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Corene Matyas & Julie Silva, 2013. "Extreme weather and economic well-being in rural Mozambique," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 66(1), pages 31-49, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:nathaz:v:66:y:2013:i:1:p:31-49
    DOI: 10.1007/s11069-011-0064-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cunguara, Benedito & Hanlon, Joseph, 2010. "Poverty is not being reduced in Mozambique," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28467, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. M. Monirul Qader Mirza, 2003. "Climate change and extreme weather events: can developing countries adapt?," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 233-248, September.
    3. Addison, Tony, 2001. "From Conflict to Reconstruction," WIDER Working Paper Series 016, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Brück, Tilman & Schindler, Kati, 2009. "Smallholder Land Access in Post-War Northern Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1379-1389, August.
    5. Mather, David & Cunguara, Benedito & Boughton, Duncan, 2008. "Household Income and Assets in Rural Mozambique, 2002-2005: Can Pro-Poor Growth Be Sustained?," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 56072, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Julie A. Silva, 2013. "Rural Income Inequality in Mozambique: National Dynamics and Local Experiences?," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 43(1), pages 23-50, Summer.
    2. Silva, Julie A. & Matyas, Corene J. & Cunguara, Benedito, 2014. "Regional Inequality and Polarization in the Context of Concurrent Extreme Weather and Economic Shocks," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 186603, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.


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