Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Global Agro-Ecological Zones (GAEZ) database

Global Agro-Ecological Zones (GAEZ) database measures the suitability for cultivating each of 27 different crops at 5x5 arc-minute cells across the globe.

The dataset is increasingly popular among economists, because it provides exogenous variations in whether or not a particular set of crops are cultivated.
  • Nunn and Qian (2011) is a pioneer, estimating the impact of potato cultivation in Europe on population growth after potatoes were introduced from the New World. 
  • Costinot and Donaldson (2012) tests Ricardian trade theory of comparative advantage by observing relative productivity in producing different crops in each location.
  • Costinot, Donaldson, and Smith (forthcoming in JPE) estimate the impact of climate change on agricultural markets by predicting the future agricultural international trade based on relative productivity of different crops in each location under climate change scenarios. 
  • Galor and Özak (2014) obtain the potential crop yield for each 5x5 arc-minute cell, to investigate its impact on people's time preference.
  • Mayshar et al (2015) obtain the suitability for cultivating cereal crops relative to roots/tubers, to predict the emergence of the state. 
  • Bustos et al. (2016) use the difference in potential yields of soybeans/maize between under low technology and under high technology as the exogenous cross-sectional variation in labour-/land-augmenting technical change within Brazil to estimate it's impact on manufacturing development.

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