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Gone with the Storm: Rainfall Shocks and Household Wellbeing in Guatemala

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  • Javier E. Baez
  • Leonardo Lucchetti
  • Maria E. Genoni
  • Mateo Salazar

Abstract

This paper identifies the negative consequences of the strongest tropical storm ever to strike Guatemala on household welfare. Per capita consumption fell in urban areas, raising poverty substantially. Households cut back on food consumption and basic durables, and attempted to cope by increasing their adult and child labour supply. The mechanisms at play include the intensity of the shock, food prices and the timing of Agatha with respect to local harvest cycles. The results are robust to placebo treatments, migration and measurement error, and partly explain the increase in poverty in the country previously attributed solely to the collateral effects of the global financial crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier E. Baez & Leonardo Lucchetti & Maria E. Genoni & Mateo Salazar, 2017. "Gone with the Storm: Rainfall Shocks and Household Wellbeing in Guatemala," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(8), pages 1253-1271, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:53:y:2017:i:8:p:1253-1271
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2016.1224853
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    Cited by:

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    2. Isaure Delaporte & Mathilde Maurel, 2018. "Adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 49-62, January.
    3. Laura Jeanet Martínez Rodríguez, 2017. "Impacto de la ola invernal sobre las dinámicas de uso del tiempo de hogares rurales," Documentos CEDE 015603, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    4. Fitz, Dylan & League, Riley, 2020. "The impact of early-life shocks on adult welfare in Brazil: Questions of measurement and timing," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).
    5. Ayala Wineman & Nicole M. Mason & Justus Ochieng & Lilian Kirimi, 2017. "Weather extremes and household welfare in rural Kenya," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 9(2), pages 281-300, April.
    6. Wineman, A. & Ochieng, J. & Mason, N. & Kirimi, L., 2015. "Let it rain: Weather extremes and household welfare in rural Kenya," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 230982, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. Anousheh Alamir & Tillmann Heidelk, 2020. "Natural Disasters and Education," Working Papers ECARES 2020-05, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Hallegatte,Stephane & Bangalore,Mook & Jouanjean,Marie Agnes, 2016. "Higher losses and slower development in the absence of disaster risk management investments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7632, The World Bank.
    9. Alvina Erman & Elliot Motte & Radhika Goyal & Akosua Asare & Shinya Takamatsu & Xiaomeng Chen & Silvia Malgioglio & Alexander Skinner & Nobuo Yoshida & Stephane Hallegatte, 2020. "The Road to Recovery the Role of Poverty in the Exposure, Vulnerability and Resilience to Floods in Accra," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 171-193, April.
    10. Camille Saint-Macary & Claire Zanuso, 2015. "Build back better? Long-lasting impact of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti," Working Papers DT/2015/15, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    11. Oscar A. Ishizawa & Juan Jose Miranda, 2019. "Weathering Storms: Understanding the Impact of Natural Disasters in Central America," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 73(1), pages 181-211, May.
    12. Arslan, A., 2018. "Climate resilience in rural Zambia: Evaluating farmers’ response to El Niño-induced drought," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 275905, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Connie Bayudan-Dacuycuy & Lora Kryz Baje, 2019. "When It Rains, It Pours? Analyzing the Rainfall Shocks-Poverty Nexus in the Philippines," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 67-93, August.
    14. Zimmermann, Laura, 2020. "Remember when it rained – Schooling responses to shocks in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    15. Nancy McCarthy & Talip Kilic & Alejandro de la Fuente & Joshua M. Brubaker, 2018. "Shelter from the Storm? Household-Level Impacts of, and Responses to, the 2015 Floods in Malawi," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 237-258, October.
    16. Patnaik, Ila & Sane, Renuka & Shah, Ajay, 2019. "Chennai 2015: A novel approach to measuring the impact of a natural disaster," Working Papers 19/285, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    17. Juliana Yael Milovich Finkelstein, 2019. "The Impact of the Expansion of African Palm Crop on Child Undernutrition in South-West Guatemala," EconomiX Working Papers 2019-22, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    18. Eva O. Arceo-Gómez & Danae Hernández-Cortés & Alejandro López-Feldman, 2020. "Droughts and rural households’ wellbeing: evidence from Mexico," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 1197-1212, October.
    19. Caruso, Germán Daniel, 2017. "The legacy of natural disasters: The intergenerational impact of 100 years of disasters in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 209-233.
    20. Mamoudou Ba & Mazhar Mughal, 2020. "Weather shocks, coping strategies and household well-being: Evidence from rural Mauritania [Chocs climatiques, stratégies d'adaptation et bien-être des ménages : Cas de la Mauritanie rurale]," Working Papers hal-02946273, HAL.
    21. Adelman,Melissa Ann & Szekely,Miguel, 2016. "School dropout in Central America : an overview of trends, causes, consequences, and promising interventions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7561, The World Bank.
    22. Wondimagegn Tesfaye & Gebrelibanos Gebremariam, 2020. "Consumption smoothing and price enhancement motives for grain storage: empirical perspectives from rural Ethiopia," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 8(1), pages 1-19, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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