The Salinization of Agricultural Hubs: Impact of and Adjustment to Intensifying Saltwater Intrusion in the Mekong Delta

This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 23 May 2023, 11am to 12pm
  • Location: In-person only
    A/D/271 (Alcuin East Wing)
  • Audience: Open to staff, students
  • Admission: Free admission, booking not required

Event details

Speaker: Hanh My Le (Technical University of Braunschweig)

Abstract:  We study the impact of saltwater intrusion on agricultural production and resource reallocation in coastal deltas. Our studied area is the Vietnamese Mekong delta, a large rice exporter known as the ‘Rice Bowl’. Inland dispersion of saltwater is identified by combining river salinity data recorded at coastal hydro-stations and distances along the delta’s artificial canal network. Higher salinization is estimated to reduce rice production yet increase the production of salt-resistant industrial crops. Regarding re- source reallocation, salinization is shown to reduce land use and partly labor supply in agriculture. While the effects on household income and consumption are negative, our estimate signals long-term adjustment in the form of increased educational spending in response to salinity shocks. For smoothing mechanisms, we find mixed evidence on labor migration to urban centers for off-farm work and suggestive evidence on the role of local credit access in mediating income losses.

Host: Matthias Flueckiger (York)