Too little too late : welfare impacts of rainfall shocks in rural Indonesia
The authors use regression analysis to assess the potential welfare impact of rainfall shocks in rural Indonesia. In particular, they consider two shocks: (i) a delay in the onset of monsoon and (ii) a significant shortfall in the amount of rain in the 90 day post-onset period. Focusing on households with family farm businesses, the analysis finds that a delay in the monsoon onset does not have a significant impact on the welfare of rice farmers. However, rice farm households located in areas exposed to low rainfall following the monsoon are negatively affected. Rice farm households appear to be able to protect their food expenditure in the face of weather shocks at the expense of lower nonfood expenditures per capita. The authors use propensity score matching to identify community programs that might moderate the welfare impact of this type of shock. Access to credit and public works projects in communities were among the programs with the strongest moderating effects. This is an important consideration for the design and implementation of adaptation strategies.
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