NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Cory B. Smith

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Institutional Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020When Coercive Economies Fail: The Political Economy of the US South After the Boll Weevil
with James J. Feigenbaum, Soumyajit Mazumder: w27161
How do coercive societies respond to negative economic shocks? We explore this question in the early 20th-Century United States South. Since before the nation's founding, cotton cultivation formed the politics and institutions in the South, including the development of slavery, the lack of democratic institutions, and intergroup relations between whites and blacks. We leverage the natural experiment generated by the boll weevil infestation from 1892-1922, which disrupted cotton production in the region. Panel difference-in-differences results provide evidence that Southern society became less violent and repressive in response to this shock with fewer lynchings and less Confederate monument construction. Cross-sectional results leveraging spatial variation in the infestation and historical...
April 2014Evolving Comparative Advantage and the Impact of Climate Change in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from 1.7 Million Fields around the World
with Arnaud Costinot, Dave Donaldson: w20079
A large agronomic literature models the implications of climate change for a variety of crops and locations around the world. The goal of the present paper is to quantify the macro-level consequences of these micro-level shocks. Using an extremely rich micro-level dataset that contains information about the productivity---both before and after climate change---of each of 10 crops for each of 1.7 million fields covering the surface of the Earth, we find that the impact of climate change on these agricultural markets would amount to a 0.26% reduction in global GDP when trade and production patterns are allowed to adjust.

Published: Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Cory Smith, 2016. "Evolving Comparative Advantage and the Impact of Climate Change in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from 1.7 Million Fields around the World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 205-248. citation courtesy of

 
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