The Effect of the El Nino Southern Oscillation on U.S. Corn Production and Downside Risk

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnections imply anomalous weather conditions around the globe, causing yield shortages, price changes, and even civil unrests. Extreme ENSO events may cause catastrophic damages to crop yields, thus amplifying downside risk for producers. This study presents a framework for quantifying the effects of climate on crop yield distributions. An empirical application provides estimates of the effect that ENSO events have on the means of U.S. county-level corn yield distributions, as well as the probabilities of catastrophic crop loss. Our findings demonstrate that ENSO events strongly influence these probabilities systematically over large production regions, which has important implications for research and policy analysis in the production, risk management, climate change, and civil unrest literatures.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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