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The Effects of Drought on Crop Yields and Yield Variability in Sahel

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Drought is widespread in Sahel, and its persistent occurrence has caused substantial damages to the agricultural sector. The severity of drought and the related damages to the agricultural sector are expected to increase due to global warming. In this paper, I examine the economic impacts of drought on Sahel agriculture. The maximum likelihood estimators of the Just-Pope stochastic production function indicate that the direction of the effects of climate variables is similar across crops, but their magnitudes differ. Specifically, drought as measured by a 6-month standardized precipitation index, poor rainfall spread, and degree-days have adverse effects on crop yields. The results are robust to alternative estimation methods.

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