The economic impact of the little ice age

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Title: The economic impact of the little ice age
Authors: Kelly, Morgan
Ó Gráda, Cormac
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2649
Date: 16-Apr-2010
Abstract: We investigate by how much the Little Ice Age reduced the harvests on which pre-industrial Europeans relied for survival. We find that weather strongly affected crop yields, but can find little evidence that western Europe experienced long swings or structural breaks in climate. Instead, annual summer temperature reconstructions between the fourteenth and twentieth centuries behave as almost independent draws from a distribution with a constant mean but time varying volatility; while winter temperatures behave similarly until the late nineteenth century when they rise markedly, consistent with anthropogenic global warming. Our results suggest that the existing consensus about a Little Ice Age in western Europe stems from a Slutsky effect, where the standard climatological practice of smoothing data prior to analysis induces spurious cyclicality in uncorrelated data.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Subject LCSH: Europe--Climate--History
Crops and climate--Europe--History
Crops and climate--Economic aspects--Europe
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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