The impact of hurricane strikes on local cropland productivity: Evidence from the Carribean
We empirically estimate the impact of hurricane strikes on local crop productivity in the Caribbean region. To this end we first identify local cropland at 1km2 geographical units via Global Land Cover data. We then employ a windfield model combined with a power dissipation equation on hurricane track data to arrive at a scientifically based index of potential local destruction along these 1km2 cropland grid cells for landfalling and passing hurricanes. Cropland productivity at the local level is approximated by annual net primary production values derived from satellite spectral reflectance data. This provides us with a panel of over 150,000 potentially affected cropland areas in the Caribbean over the period 2000-20006. Our econometric results indicate that cropland productivity is substantially reduced after a hurricane strike.
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