The Impact of Rainfall on Rice Output in Indonesia
We estimate the impact of weather variation on agricultural output in Indonesia by examining the impact of local rainfall shocks on rice output at the district level. Our analysis makes use of local meteorological data on rainfall in combination with government administrative data on district-level rice output in the 1990s. We find that deviations from mean local rainfall are positively associated with district-level rice output. 10% higher rainfall leads metric tons of rice output to be 0.4% higher on average. The impact of rainfall on rice output occurs contemporaneously (in the same calendar year), rather than with a lag. These results suggest that researchers should be justified in interpreting higher rainfall as a positive contemporaneous shock to local economic conditions in Indonesia.
This paper was previously circulated under the title "The Impact of Rainfall on Rice Output in Indonesian Districts." Thanks are due to Jules Elkins for excellent research assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.