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Weather, cropland expansion, and deforestation in Ethiopia

Xi He () and Zhenshan Chen

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2022, vol. 111, issue C

Abstract: We use high-resolution weather data and rich Ethiopian household- and plot-level data in 2011/12, 2013/14, and 2015/16 growing seasons to investigate the impact of weather shocks on agricultural producers' cropland expansion and land conversion behaviors. We find that weather above 32 °C is harmful to crop growth. Household-level analysis shows that each additional average harmful growing degree day (defined as temperature above 32 °C) leads to a 17.2%, 20.1%, and 20.0% increase in total land holdings, cropland, and cropland allocated to cereal production, respectively. Each additional average harmful growing degree day reduces households' forest by 24.7% for households with some forest in the baseline growing season. Further analysis shows that farmers' cropland expansion substitutes migration and off-farm employment. The significant impacts of weather shocks on cropland expansion are only significant for households with relatively fewer assets but not for households with more assets, which suggests that only households without enough resources would expand cropland. These findings highlight the need to identify and facilitate coping strategies that are sustainable in the long run.

Keywords: Weather shocks; Cropland expansion; Deforestation; Ethiopia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O12 O13 Q11 Q12 Q15 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:111:y:2022:i:c:s0095069621001327

DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2021.102586

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Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

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