Agricultural Productivity Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC): An analysis of Climatic Effects, Convergence, and Catch-up

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August 2015
Paper author(s): 
Michée A. Lachaud
Boris E. Bravo-Ureta
Carlos E. Ludena
Agricultural - Natural Resource Economics

This study estimates a Climate Adjusted Total Factor Productivity (CATFP) for agriculture in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Climatic variability is introduced in SPF models by including average annual maximum temperature, precipitation and its monthly intra-year standard deviations, and the number of rainy days. Climatic conditions have a negative impact on production becoming stronger at the end of the 2000s compared to earlier periods. An Error Correction Model is applied to investigate catch-up and convergence across LAC countries. Argentina defines the frontier in LAC and CATFP convergence is found across all South American countries, Costa Rica, Mexico, Barbados and The Bahamas. Using IPCC 2014 scenarios, the study shows climatic variability induces significant reductions in productivity over the 2013-2040 period. Estimated productivity losses due to climatic variability range from USD 12.7 to 89.1 billion in the LAC region depending on the scenario and the discount rate.


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