Natural Disaster and Exports of Agricultural Products in Developing Countries

Mercredi | 2017-02-15
B103 12h

This paper studies the impact of natural disasters on exports of agricultural products by developing countries. We first highlight many channels (domestic supply and demand, changes in relative costs/prices and changes in preferences of importers) through which disasters affect exports, making their relationship very ambiguous. We then run a series of regressions to see how disasters affects first, exports to the rest of world and second, exports across partners. Using different sets of disaster variables (occurrence and intensity) from EM-DAT and EOMET datasets, across different types of disasters, our estimates point indeed to a negative but, in most cases, statistically non-robust relation between disasters and agricultural exports to the rest of world. We then turn to bilateral exports’ specifications and there, could identify a positive and (very) robust relation with exports towards neighbouring partners (i.e sharing a common cultural trait) while the impact appears to be negative with the rest of the partners. This points to show that disasters are redistributing trade across partners. Besides, this finding appears to be consistent with changes in preferences of similar-culture countries through a solidarity act (altruism hypothesis) after a catastropher. However, the ’solidarity’-consistent effect does not seem to last over time.