The impacts of climate variability on welfare in rural Mexico

Type Working Paper - Policy Research Working Paper
Title The impacts of climate variability on welfare in rural Mexico
Issue 5555
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
This paper examines the impacts of weather shocks, defined as rainfall or growing degree days more than a standard deviation from their respective long-run means, on household consumption per capita and child heightfor-age. The results reveal that the current risk-coping mechanisms are not effective in protecting these two dimensions of welfare from erratic weather patterns. These findings imply that the change in the patterns of climatic variability associated with climate change is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the current coping mechanisms even more and thus increase household vulnerability further. The results reveal that weather shocks have substantial (negative as well as positive) effects on welfare that vary across regions (North vs. Center and South) and socio-economic characteristics (education and gender). The heterogeneous impacts of climatic variability suggest that a “tailored” approach to designing programs aimed at decreasing the sensitivity and increasing the capacity of rural households to adapt to climate change in Mexico is likely to be more effective.

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