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Annual Hard Frosts, Scale Effects and Economic Development: A Case not Closed


  • Michael Funke


  • Jessica Zuo



In an influential 2001, Journal of Economic Growth paper, Masters and McMillan find that one factor differentiating wealthy countries from poor includes annual winter frosts, which helps farmers to increase agricultural productivity and helps people to control disease, particularly malaria. This paper discusses the robustness of the research finding that frost is a catchball for a variety of geographical indicators. The conclusion is that ultimate impact of frost upon growth is not clear-cut.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Funke & Jessica Zuo, 2003. "Annual Hard Frosts, Scale Effects and Economic Development: A Case not Closed," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20308, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ham:qmwops:20308

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. By Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2001. "Product Variety and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence for the OECD Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(2), pages 1-1.
    2. Feenstra, Robert C., 1995. "Estimating the effects of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1553-1595 Elsevier.
    3. Harris, Richard, 1984. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-1032, December.
    4. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-177, March.
    5. Romer, Paul, 1994. "New goods, old theory, and the welfare costs of trade restrictions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-38, February.
    6. Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 1998. "Trade liberalization and endogenous growth in a small open economy : a quantitative assessment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1970, The World Bank.
    7. Hoekman, Bernard & Djankov, Simeon, 1997. "Determinants of the Export Structure of Countries in Central and Eastern Europe," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(3), pages 471-487, September.
    8. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    9. Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2005. "Export variety and economic growth in East European transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(1), pages 25-50, January.
    10. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    11. Qing Wang, 2001. "Import-Reducing Effect of Trade Barriers; A Cross-Country Investigation," IMF Working Papers 01/216, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Feenstra, Robert C. & Madani, Dorsati & Yang, Tzu-Han & Liang, Chi-Yuan, 1999. "Testing endogenous growth in South Korea and Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 317-341, December.
    13. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    14. Drábek, Zdenek & Smith, Alasdair, 1995. "Trade Performance and Trade Policy in Central and Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Feenstra, Robert C. & Yang, Tzu-Han & Hamilton, Gary G., 1999. "Business groups and product variety in trade: evidence from South Korea, Taiwan and Japan," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 71-100, June.
    16. Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Foreign Trade in Eastern Europe's Transition: Early Results," NBER Chapters,in: The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 2: Restructuring, pages 319-356 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Tito Boeri & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 2002. "Varieties, Jobs and EU Enlargement," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 92(1), pages 139-178, January-F.
    18. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Trade," NBER Working Papers 8712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Robert C. Feenstra, 1992. "How Costly Is Protectionism?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-178, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Motamed, Mesbah J. & Florax, Raymond J.G.M. & Masters, William J., 2009. "Geography and Economic Transition: Global Spatial Analysis at the Grid Cell Level," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49589, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    Climate; Frosts; Scale Effects; Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water


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