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Abstract

Using a unique county-level panel on single-season rice yield and daily weather outcomes from 1996 to 2009, we examined the impacts of temperature variations on rice yield in China. We have five key findings: (i) in contrast to nearly all previous studies focusing on rice production in tropical/subtropical regions, we discovered that higher daily minimum temperature during the vegetative stage increased rice yield; (ii) consistent with previous assessments, we found that increased daily maximum temperature during the vegetative and ripening stages reduced rice yield; (iii) the impacts of solar radiation and rainfall on rice yield differed across the plant’s growth stages; (iv) estimated weather effects on yield differed by rice variety; and (v) weather variations caused a net economic loss of $21.6-88.2 million during the sample period, depending on model specifications and econometric estimation strategies.

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