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Dry Times in Africa: Rainfall and Africa's Growth Performance

  • Barrios, Salvador
  • Bertinelli, Luisito
  • Strobl, Eric

While there have been some references in the literature to the potential role of the general decline in rainfall in sub-Saharan African nations on their poor growth performance relative to other developing countries, this avenue remains empirically unexplored. In this paper we use a new cross-country panel climate data set in an economic growth framework to explore the issue. Our results show that rainfall has been a significant determinants of poor economic growth for Africa but not for other developing countries. Depending on the benchmark measure of potential rainfall, we estimate that the direct impact under the scenario of no decline in rainfall would have resulted in a reduction of between 13 and 36 per cent of today's gap in African GDP per capita relative to the rest of the developing world.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/5705/1/MPRA_paper_5705.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5705.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5705
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  1. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  2. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  3. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1996. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Papers 545, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Molua, Ernest L., 2002. "Climate variability, vulnerability and effectiveness of farm-level adaptation options: the challenges and implications for food security in Southwestern Cameroon," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 529-545, July.
  5. Masters, William A. & McMillan, Margaret S., 2001. "Climate And Scale In Economic Growth," Miscellaneous Papers 11845, Agecon Search.
  6. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  7. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  8. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1998. "Explaining African economic performance," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-02.2, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  10. Drechsel, Pay & Gyiele, Lucy & Kunze, Dagmar & Cofie, Olufunke, 2001. "Population density, soil nutrient depletion, and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 251-258, August.
  11. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
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