Rainfall shocks and fertilizer use: A district level study of India

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Environment and Development Economics


In the context of climate change and increasing occurrences of extreme events, it is essential to understand farmers' responses to weather shocks and adaptations. This paper uses a panel dataset of 311 selected Indian districts ranging from 1966 to 2009 to investigate how application of chemical fertilizers varies in response to rainfall shocks. Two rainfall shock measures are constructed based on deviation in rainfall from the normal, a categorical measure of rainfall shock; and another, a continuous index of negative rainfall deviation. Based on a panel fixed effect regression, the study finds no apparent reduction in the level of fertilizer use in negative rainfall shock years. However, with a one-year lagged rainfall shock, a reduction in fertilizer application rate is observed for the continuous drought index. Further, exposure to higher intensity droughts in the previous year leads to an increase in the amount of fertilizer application in the current year.

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Open Access, Hybrid Gold

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