Daniel Mirza (CEPII, LEO, Université François Rabelais de Tours)
This paper studies the impact of natural disasters on exports of agricultural products by developing countries. We first highlight many channels (supply, demand, changes in relative costs/prices and changes in preferences of importers) through which disasters affect exports, making their relationship very ambiguous. We then run a series of regressions on total and bilateral exports and find indeed a non robust effect of disasters on exports in developing countries. Nevertheless, we could identify a robust and positive (not negative) channel effect of disasters on exports: exports appear to be reallocated towards some few countries which share common historical and cultural traits with those of the exporter. This finding, we argue, is consistent with changes in preferences of similar-culture countries through a solidarity act (altruism hypothesis).