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WEATHER VARIABILITY, AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY, AND FARMER SUICIDES IN INDIA

Sonal Barve, K. S. Kavi Kumar () and Brinda Viswanathan ()
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Sonal Barve: Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
K. S. Kavi Kumar: Madras School of Economics, India
Brinda Viswanathan: Madras School of Economics, India

Climate Change Economics (CCE), 2021, vol. 12, issue 02, 1-27

Abstract: Globalization, commercialization, modernization, erratic climatic conditions, individual expectations, contagion, and government policies are some of the reasons attributed to farmers’ suicides. This study hypothesizes that farmer suicides in India are primarily linked to loss in agricultural productivity which in turn is affected by adverse weather and low penetration of irrigation networks. Using panel data of 16 major states in India, from 1996 to 2015 and Control Function (CF) approach, the study shows that keeping all other factors fixed, a one degree rise in temperature results in 4.8% higher farmer suicides through a 3.6% decline in agricultural productivity. Further, the study highlights the significant role played by the contagion factors influencing farmer suicides. The study argues for policy responses that address covariate shocks arising from weather vagaries, price volatility, and liquidity constraint as well as idiosyncratic shocks arising from farmer-specific characteristics.

Keywords: Farmer suicide; agricultural productivity; weather; contagion effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1142/S2010007821500056

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