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Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the Growth Tragedy

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

Abstract

We examine the role of trends in rainfall in the poor growth performance of sub-Saharan African nations relative to other developing countries. To do so we use a new crosscountry panel climatic data set in an empirical economic growth framework. Our results show that rainfall has been a significant determinant 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 around 15 and 40 per cent of today's gap in African GDP per capita relative to the rest of the developing world.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrios Cobos, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, Eric, 2008. "Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the Growth Tragedy," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 41, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec08:41
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/39880/1/AEL_2008_41_strobl.pdf
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    1. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
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    Cited by:

    1. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 923-947, May.
    2. Anderson, Kym & Brückner, Markus, 2011. "Price Distortions and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8530, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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