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Forecasting Profitability

Mark Rosenzweig and Christopher Udry ()

Working Papers from Economic Growth Center, Yale University

Abstract: We use newly-available Indian panel data to estimate how the returns to planting-stage investments vary by rainfall realizations. We show that the forecasts significantly affect farmer investment decisions and that these responses account for a substantial fraction of the inter-annual variability in planting-stage investments, that the skill of the forecasts varies across areas of India, and that farmers respond more strongly to the forecast where there is more forecast skill and not at all when there is no skill. We show, using an IV strategy in which the Indian government forecast of monsoon rainfall serves as the main instrument, that the return to agricultural investment depends substantially on the conditions under which it is estimated. Using the full rainfall distribution and our profit function estimates, we find that Indian farmers on average under-invest, by a factor of three, when we compare actual levels of investments to the optimal investment level that maximizes expected profits. Farmers who use skilled forecasts have increased average profit levels but also have more variable profits compared with farmers without access to forecasts. Even modest improvements in forecast skill would substantially increase average profits.

Keywords: agriculture; forecasting; investment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D24 D81 O12 O13 O14 Q12 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2013-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-eff, nep-for and nep-spo
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Working Paper: Forecasting Profitabilithy (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Forecasting Profitability (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Forecasting Profitability (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Forecasting Profitability (2013) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:egc:wpaper:1029

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