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Nonlinear relationship between the weather phenomenon El Niño and Colombian food prices


  • Davinson Stev Abril Salcedo


  • Luis Fernando Melo-Velandia

    () (Banco de la República de Colombia)

  • Daniel Parra-Amado

    () (Banco de la República de Colombia)


Extreme weather events, like a strong El Niño (ENSO), affect society in many different ways especially in the context of recent globe warming. In the Colombian case, ENSO had a significant impact on consumer food prices during the strongest event in 2015-16. Our research evaluates the relationship between ENSO and Colombian food inflation growth by using a smooth transition non-linear model. We estimate the impacts of a strong ENSO on food inflation growth by adopting Generalized Impulse Response Functions (GIRFs) and the results suggest that the weather shocks are transitory and asymmetric on inflation. A strong El Niño shock has a significate effect on the food inflation growth from six to nine months after the shock and the accumulated elasticity is close to 465 basic points. We build the GIRFs for eight different episodes associated with a strong El Niño in the period corresponding from March 1962 to December 2018 and there is no evidence of changes in the size of Colombian food inflation growth responses over time. **** RESUMEN: Eventos extremos del clima como El Niño (ENSO) fuerte afectan la sociedad de diferentes maneras en especial en el reciente contexto de calentamiento global. En 2015-16, se observó el evento de El Niño más fuerte en los últimos cien años el cual presentó un impacto significativo sobre los precios de alimentos al consumidor en el caso colombiano. El presente trabajo de investigación evalúa la relación entre ENSO y el crecimiento de la inflación de alimentos para el consumidor en Colombia usando un modelo no lineal de transición suave y estimando funciones de impulso respuesta generalizadas (GIRFs). Los resultados sugieren que dichos choques climáticos son transitorios y asimétricos sobre la inflación. Así, El Niño fuerte tiene un impacto significativo sobre el crecimiento de la inflación de alimentos entre seis y nueve meses después del choque climático y la elasticidad acumulada es 465 puntos básicos. Adicionalmente, se construyeron GIRFs para ocho diferentes episodios de tiempo asociados con un fenómeno de El Niño fuerte que se observaron entre marzo de 1962 y diciembre de 2018 y se encontró que no hay evidencia estadística de cambios en el tamaño de las respuestas del crecimiento de la inflación de alimentos en Colombia a través del tiempo.

Suggested Citation

  • Davinson Stev Abril Salcedo & Luis Fernando Melo-Velandia & Daniel Parra-Amado, 2019. "Nonlinear relationship between the weather phenomenon El Niño and Colombian food prices," Borradores de Economia 1085, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:1085

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    El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO); non-linear smooth transition models; inflation; El Niño-Oscilación del Sur; modelos no lineales de transición suave; inflación;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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