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Extreme weather events and economic activity: The case of low water levels on the Rhine river

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  • Ademmer, Martin
  • Jannsen, Nils
  • Mösle, Saskia

Abstract

In this paper, we exploit exogenous variation in navigability of the Rhine river to analyze the impact of weather-related supply shocks on economic activity in Germany. Our analysis shows that low water levels lead to transportation disruptions that cause a significant and economically meaningful decrease of economic activity. In a month with 30 days of low water, industrial production in Germany declines by about 1 percent, ceteris paribus. Our analysis highlights the importance of extreme weather events for business cycle analysis and contributes to gauging the costs of extreme weather events in advanced economies. Furthermore, we provide a specific example for an idiosyncratic supply shock to a small sector that amplifies to an economically meaningful effect at the macroeconomic level.

Suggested Citation

  • Ademmer, Martin & Jannsen, Nils & Mösle, Saskia, 2020. "Extreme weather events and economic activity: The case of low water levels on the Rhine river," Kiel Working Papers 2155, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:2155
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Vasco M. Carvalho & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz‐Salehi, 2012. "The Network Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 1977-2016, September.
    2. Yasuyuki Todo & Kentaro Nakajima & Petr Matous, 2015. "How Do Supply Chain Networks Affect The Resilience Of Firms To Natural Disasters? Evidence From The Great East Japan Earthquake," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 209-229, March.
    3. Eric Strobl, 2011. "The Economic Growth Impact of Hurricanes: Evidence from U.S. Coastal Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 575-589, May.
    4. Jean-Noël Barrot & Julien Sauvagnat, 2016. "Input Specificity and the Propagation of Idiosyncratic Shocks in Production Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1543-1592.
    5. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2014. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(3), pages 740-798, September.
    6. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Gröschl, Jasmin, 2014. "Naturally negative: The growth effects of natural disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 92-106.
    7. Cashin, Paul & Mohaddes, Kamiar & Raissi, Mehdi, 2017. "Fair weather or foul? The macroeconomic effects of El Niño," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 37-54.
    8. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2012. "Temperature Shocks and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 66-95, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate; extreme weather events; low water; supply shocks; business cycle effects;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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