Research Project

Economics of Climate Change: Coping with Shocks in Mongolia – Vulnerability, Assets and Migration (Shocks Mongolia)

Department(s)/ Research Infrastructure
Research Group Sustainable Development
Project Status
Completed Project
Project Duration
since/from 2012 to 2016
Commissioned by
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), BMBF-No.: 01LA1126A
In Cooperation with
National Statistical Office of Mongolia (NSO)
Project Manager
Kati Krähnert
Project Team/Contacts at DIW Berlin

Details


Project


Aim of the project
This project analyzes the impact of climate shocks on the livelihoods and welfare of households in Mongolia. Our analysis particularly focuses on extreme weather events, locally called dzud disasters (see box below). As a consequence of climate change and global warming, it is very likely that climate shocks, such as dzud, will occur more frequently and with greater intensity. As part of the project, we will conduct a unique household panel survey in western Mongolia. Using micro econometric techniques, the project explores the strategies of households to cope with climate shocks and the effects of climate shocks on inequality. Understanding how households at the micro-level are affected by and cope with climate shocks is an important prerequisite for formulating policies that strengthen household-level resilience and prevent distress migration.

Dzud disasters are severe winter conditions with onsets of cold and snow that escalate livestock mortality. In Mongolia, severe dzuds have been occurring with an average frequency of every eight years since the beginning of meteorological recording in the 1950s. Since the late 1990s, the frequency of zuds has increased, with devastating consequences. Dzuds reduced the national livestock population by almost 30 percent during consecutive dzuds occurring between 1999 and 2002. During the winter of 2009/2010, more than 8 million livestock died, about 17 percent of the national livestock population. The increased frequency and intensity of dzuds in Mongolia is often attributed to climate change, although the exact causal relationship between individual weather events and global climatic trends cannot be proven by definition.

Innovation
The project addresses gaps in the current state of knowledge regarding the costs and risks of climate change from the micro-perspective of affected households. It identifies the channels through which climate shocks interrelate with rural livelihoods and lead households to adapt. We achieve this objective by employing different conceptualizations of dzud (perceived and actual, based on meteorological recordings), different units of analysis (individual, household, and groups), and different time horizons (short, medium, and long). A unique, high quality, household survey dataset will be collected, specially designed to investigating the impact of climate shocks, thus contributing to enlarging the database for empirical research on climate shocks.

Work schedule
Based on this new database, the following research questions will be addressed:

  • The impact of climate shocks on household well-being
  • Climate shocks and children's health
  • Migration, transfer income and risk management strategies
  • Consumption smoothing, income smoothing and asset smoothing
  • Social capital and risk management
  • Economic mobility and inequality in a risky environment
  • Climate shocks and poverty traps
  • Climate shocks and distress migration

Applicability and usage of project results
The project aims at deriving evidence-based insights and discussing policy implications regarding the individual, local and national adaptation to climate shocks. One focus will be on policies that assist households in strengthening their resilience against climate shocks, thus preventing distress migration. The project will also outline the applicability of the project findings and policy options to other economies in which households' livelihoods are strongly dependent on climatic conditions.

Panel Survey

Coping with Shocks in Mongolia Household Panel Survey

The project team at DIW Berlin implemented the Coping with Shocks in Mongolia Household Panel Survey in partnership with the National Statistical Office of Mongolia (NSO). The sample comprises 1,768 households in the three provinces (aimags) of Zavkhan, Govi-Altai, und Uvs in western Mongolia. The survey covers 49 out of 61 districts (soums) in these three provinces.

Map showing the survey region in western Mongolia

Projekt_Mongolei_Map_Karte_FG_NachEntwicklung.png

Source: DIW Berlin

The survey is based on a multi-stage design that ensures the sample is representative of the population in western Mongolia. More precisely, the sample is representative of each of the three provinces; of rural areas in the three provinces; of urban areas in the three provinces; of rural areas in each of the three provinces; and of urban areas in each of the three provinces. The 2010 Population and Housing Census provides the sampling frame.

Each household was interviewed three times between 2012 and 2015. The household survey data were collected continuously throughout the year, with interviews for the first wave taking place between June 2012 and May 2013. On average, 145 households were interviewed each month. Each household was then interviewed again 12 and 24 months later for the second and third survey waves. The continuous approach of collecting data allowed us to employ the same field team, consisting of nine interviewers, three supervisors, and three drivers, for the duration of three years.

The household questionnaire includes questions on the demographic characteristics of each household member (e.g. age, gender, education, health), exposure to extreme weather events (e.g. retrospective questions on the dzuds of 1999-2002 and 2009/2010, perceptions of the risk of future climate shocks), risk management strategies (e.g. migration and remittances, formal and informal insurance, migration), welfare outcomes (e.g. consumption, income, assets, food security, child anthropometrics), and policy-related variables (e.g. access to emergency aid during extreme weather events, cash transfers, market access). In addition, a community questionnaire and a community price questionnaire were used.

Of the 1,768 sample households interviewed in the first panel wave, 1,744 and 1,733 households were re-interviewed in the second and third panel wave, respectively. Thus, the attrition rate between the first and third wave is 2.01 %. The survey team tracked panel households that moved to the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where 12 and 16 households were interviewed in the second and the third wave, respectively. The low attrition rate is particularly remarkable given that more than half of the sample households follow a nomadic livelihood.

Number of sample households and attrited households

Projekt_Mongolei_Table_Stichprobe_en.png

Source: DIW Berlin

The Coping with Shocks in Mongolia Household Panel Survey data are available to the scientific community for research purposes. To comply with the data protection laws of Mongolia, researchers may be provided an anonymized version of the data from which all personal identifiers as well as all locational information below the province level are removed. Interested researchers may apply for data access using this Form | DOCX, 14.37 KB .

The data should be cited as follows:

Kraehnert, Kati; Lehmann-Uschner, Katharina; Groppo, Valeria; and Bertram-Huemmer, Veronika (2017): Coping with Shocks in Mongolia Panel Survey, Waves 1-3. Version 1.0. German Institute for Economic Research and National Statistical Office of Mongolia. The data collection was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, research grant 01LA1126A.

Questionnaires

Wave 1


Wave 2


Wave 3


Survey-Dokumentation

DIW Team

Kati Krähnert (project leader) studied Social Anthropology and Economics at Free University Berlin and Wake Forest University and obtained her PhD in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University in 2010. Her research interests include development economics, the economics of climate change, and household behavior in risky environments.

Veronika Bertram-Hümmer (researcher, 03/2012 - 06/2016) Veronika focused on inclusive microfinance solutions and households’ behavior under risk. In her PhD research, she evaluated the impacts of the index-based livestock insurance on herders’ well-being in Mongolia. Before joining DIW, Veronika was a Carlo Schmid Fellow in the World Bank Social Development Department focusing on poverty and social impact analysis. She also has experience in the banking sector and she was visiting fellow at several international institutions focusing on the fields of development and research. Veronika earned a Master’s in Economics (Diplom Volkswirtin) from Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen.

Katharina Lehmann (researcher) studied International Relations at the Technical University of Dresden and the AlKalamoon University in Syria and International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. In her master thesis, Katharina analyzed how Ethiopian small-scale farmers adapt to climate change. Her research interests include development microeconomics, behavior under risk and uncertainty, environmental economics and climate shocks.

Valeria Groppo (researcher) holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Milan (Italy) and a Master in Development Economics from the University of Sussex, Brighton (UK). Before joining DIW Berlin, she worked as an intern at the ILO's Trade and Employment Programme and as a consultant for the WTO's Economic Research Division in Geneva. Her main research interests are in the area of development microeconomics, with a focus on migration.

Amartuvshin Tserennadmid (guest researcher, 09/2015 - 01/2016) holds a Master degree in Economics from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and a Bachelor degree in Statistics and Economics from the National University of Mongolia. Amartuvshin has worked at the National Statistical Office of Mongolia from 1999 to 2009, where she supervised the implementation of household surveys, among other things. Since 2011, she has been working as a lecturer and researcher at the National University of Mongolia. Her main research interests include welfare and poverty analyses. She was awarded a scholarship from the Open Society Foundations to join DIW Berlin as a guest researcher.

Mongolia Team





Events

Academic Workshops

Workshop on “Analyzing the Impact of Extreme Weather Events from a Microeconomic Perspective”

The third academic project workshop "Analyzing the Impact of Extreme Weather Events from a Microeconomic Perspective" took place in Berlin on June 27th, 2016.
For more information, please click here. | PDF, 113.68 KB

The second project workshop "Analyzing Extreme Weather Events from a Microeconomic Perspective" took place in Berlin on March 9th, 2015. For more information, please click here. | PDF, 100.08 KB

The first project workshop "Climate Shocks and Household Behavior" took place in Berlin on December 12th, 2013. For more information, please click here. | PDF, 89.06 KB

Policy Workshops

On September 2nd, 2016 DIW Berlin and NSO jointly organized a policy workshop in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. During the workshop, project staff presented the Coping with Shocks in Mongolia Household Panel Survey, research results derived from the data, as well as policy implications. For more information, please click here. | PDF, 50.42 KB
News coverage of the workshop aired by the TV stations sbn, tv5, eh oron tv, vtv, and MNB can be found here.

The kick-off workshop took place in Ulaanbaatar on May 23rd, 2012.

News

Veronika Bertram-Hümmer receives the University Meets Microfinance Award

Privat (Copyright)

Veronika Bertram-Hümmer, formerly researcher at the Department Development and Security and the PhD Student at the DIW Graduate Centre, has been honored for her research with the University Meets Microfinance Award. The outstanding section of her doctoral dissertation was also published as a DIW Discussion Paper | PDF, 0.9 MB in collaboration with Kati Krähnert, Head of Development and Security. Their research demonstrates that an index-based weather insurance can help households in developing countries, such as Mongolia, to cope with the financial consequences of extreme weather changes.

Newsletter

Our regular project newsletter reported about the progress of the project, new outcomes, events, and news from our partners.

You can download all previous issues here:

Newsletter 1 | PDF, 260.47 KB
Newsletter 2 | PDF, 203.62 KB
Newsletter 3 | PDF, 258.42 KB

Publications

Research Papers:

Bertram-Huemmer, V. and Kraehnert, K. (2017): Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, forthcoming.

Abstract: This article investigates the impact of indemnity payments from index insurance on the asset recovery of households following a catastrophic weather disaster. Our focus is on the Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) in Mongolia. We analyze the effect of IBLI indemnity payments after a once-in-50-year winter disaster struck Mongolia over the 2009/10 winter. The analysis is based on three waves of a household panel survey implemented in western Mongolia 2-5 years after the shock. We employ the bias-corrected matching estimator to account for selection into purchasing IBLI. Results indicate that pastoralist households purchasing IBLI before the shock recover faster from shock-induced asset losses than comparable uninsured households. We find a significant, positive and economically large effect of IBLI indemnity payments on herd size one to three years after the shock. Four years after the shock, the effect vanishes. Results are robust to defining post-shock livestock recovery in different ways, the choice of covariates, and the use of alternative propensity score estimators. An analysis of shock coping strategies suggests that IBLI appears to have relieved households from credit constraints. In addition, indemnity payments helped herders avoid selling and slaughtering animals, thus smoothing their productive asset base. Our article is among the first to provide evidence on the beneficial effects of index insurance after a weather shock in a developing economy.

Groppo, V. and Kraehnert, K. (2017): The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Education. Journal of Population Economics, 30: 433–472

Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the long- and medium-term impact of extreme weather events on education. Our focus is on Mongolia, where two extremely severe winters caused mass livestock mortality. We use household panel data with information on households’ preshock location, combined with historic district-level livestock census data and climate data. Our econometric strategy exploits exogenous variation in shock intensity across space and time, using a difference-in-differences approach. Results indicate that individuals who experience the shock while of schooling age and living in severely affected districts are significantly less likely to complete mandatory education, both in the long and medium terms. The effects are driven by individuals from herding households, while no significant effects are found for individuals from nonherding households. This finding renders it unlikely that extreme winters affect education through school closures during extreme climatic conditions, to which all children were exposed. Moreover, there is no evidence for a differential impact of extreme weather events by gender. This suggests that the effects are not mainly channeled through increased child labor in herding but rather they are related to reductions in household income.

Groppo, V. and Kraehnert, K. (2016): Extreme weather events and child health: Evidence from Mongolia. World Development 86, 59-78

Abstract: We provide new evidence on the impact of one severe weather event on child height in Mongolia. While previous studies mostly focus on rainfall shocks in tropical or dry climate areas, our focus is on the extremely harsh winter that hit Mongolia in 2009–10. The severe winter-locally referred to as a dzud-caused catastrophic damage and resulted in the death of 10.3 million livestock. Our analysis identifies the causal impact of the weather shock on children’s height by exploiting exogenous variation in the intensity of the shock across time and space. We use data on the height of children from two waves of a panel survey specifically designed to assess the impact of weather events. Results reveal that the shock significantly slowed the growth trajectory of exposed children from herding households. This negative effect is persistent, remaining observable in both panel waves, three and four years after the shock. The effect is driven by children who experienced the shock in utero. There is indicative evidence that the provision of emergency aid mitigates the negative consequences of the shock. Moreover, child height has a significant and positive association with households’ receipt of informal help. Our findings are robust to alternative measures of shock intensity from different data sources.

Lehmann-Uschner, K. and Kraehnert, K. (2017): Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning. Journal of Development Studies 53(8), 1303-1322

Abstract: This article investigates the role of food self-provisioning for the intake of nutrients of households in Mongolia. We analyse nutritional outcomes within and across urban wage employees, rural households with small herds, and pastoralists with large herds. Food self-provisioning significantly affects dietary quality and quantity. Farming food crops improves the nutrient intake. In contrast, animal husbandry increases the intake of calories and nutrients from animal sources, while it decreases the intake of carbohydrates and nutrients from vegetal sources. This finding suggests household-specific market failures due to remoteness exist. Last, exposure to a weather shock does not affect households’ calorie intake.

Policy Briefs:

Lehmann-Uschner, K. (2015): Die langfristigen Folgen von Mangel- und Unterernährung in Entwicklungsländern. | PDF, 252.83 KB DIW Roundup 69

Groppo, V. (2015): Health Consequences of Childhood and Adolescence Shocks: Is There a "Critical Period"? | PDF, 247.07 KB DIW Roundup 65

Mongolei: Extreme Winter wirken sich auf die Größe von Kindern aus: Sechs Fragen an Kati Kraehnert. DIW Wochenbericht 46/2014, S. 1190

Groppo, V. and Kraehnert, K. (2014): Die Auswirkungen von extremen Wetterereignissen auf die Größe von Kindern: Evidenz aus der Mongolei. DIW Wochenbericht 46/2014, S. 1183-1189

Bertram-Huemmer, V. (2014): Index-basierte Wetterversicherungen in Entwicklungsländern | PDF, 265.8 KB . DIW Roundup 20

Abschlussarbeiten:

Gordon, A. (2017): The Impact of Food Price Changes on Nutrition in Mongolia: Evidence from Micro Panel Data. Master Thesis. Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt

Bertram-Hümmer, V. (2015): Index Insurance, Risk Preferences, and Deprivation in Low-Income Economies. PhD Thesis. Leibniz Universität Hannover

Teirlinck, M. (2015): Adverse Shocks and Coping strategies: The case of the Mongolian Herders. Master Thesis. Toulouse School of Economics

Rose, J. (2014): Index-based livestock insurance in Mongolia. Bachelor Thesis. Leopold-Franzens University Innsbruck

Schachner, R. (2014): Weather shocks' impact on education outcomes in Mongolia. Comparison of Difference-in-Differences. Approach and Propensity Score Matching. Bachelor Thesis. Leuphana University Lueneburg

Presentations

  • Does Index Insurance Help Households Recover from Disaster? Evindence from IBLI Mongolia
    Kati Krähnert, Veronika Bertram-Hümmer
    Dessimination Workshop for the Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia
    Ulaanbaatar, 02.09.2016
  • Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning
    Kati Krähnert, Katharina Lehmann-Uschner
    Dessimination Workshop for the Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia
    Ulaanbaatar, 02.09.2016
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Education
    Kati Krähnert, Valeria Groppo
    Dessimination Workshop for the Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia
    Ulaanbaatar, 02.09.2016
  • Extreme Weather Events and Child Height: Evidence from Mongolia
    Kati Krähnert, Valeria Groppo
    Dessimination Workshop for the Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia
    Ulaanbaatar, 02.09.2016
  • Welcome and Introduction of the Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia": Collecting Household Survey Data in Mongolia: How to Keep Attrition Low
    Kati Krähnert
  • Workshop on Analyzing the Impact of Extreme Weather Events from a Microeconomic Perspective: Final Workshop of the Research Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia"
    Berlin, 27.06.2016
  • Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia
    Kati Krähnert
    Workshop on Analyzing the Impact of Extreme Weather Events from a Microeconomic Perspective: Final Workshop of the Research Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia"
    Berlin, 27.06.2016
  • Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia
    Kati Krähnert
    Research Group on Development Economics, German Economic Association
    Heidelberg, 03.06.2016
  • Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia
    Veronika Bertram-Hümmer
    11th International Microinsurance Conference 2015
    Casablanca, 05.11.2015
  • Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia
    Kati Krähnert
    CEAR Academic Pre-Conference in Microinsurance 2015
    Casablanca, 02.11.2015
  • Weather Shocks and Education in Mongolia
    Valeria Groppo
    Ökonomische Entwicklung – Theorie und Politik: Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2015
    Münster, 06.09.2015 - 09.09.2015
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Valeria Groppo
    30th Annual Congress of the European Economic Association
    Mannheim, 24. - 27.08.2015
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Valeria Groppo
    Nordic Conference on Development Economics 2015
    Kopenhagen, 15. - 16.06.2015
  • Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning
    Katharina Lehman-Uschner
    Nordic Conference on Development Economics 2015
    Kopenhagen, 15. - 16.06.2015
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Valeria Groppo
    Jahrestagung des Ausschuss für Entwicklungsländer, Verein für Socialpolitik
    Kiel, 12. - 13.06.2015
  • Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia
    Veronika Bertram-Hümmer
    16th Joint Seminar of the European Association of Law and Economics (EALE) and the Geneva Association (GA)
    Berlin, 28. - 29.05.2015
  • Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning
    Katharina Lehmann
    PhD-Workshop des Development Economics Network Berlin (DENeB)
    Berlin, 13.03.2015
  • Extreme Weather Events and Education in Mongolia
    Valeria Groppo

    Analyzing Extreme Weather Events from a Microeconomic Perspective : Workshop of the Research Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia"
    Berlin, 09.03.2015
  • Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning
    Katharina Lehmann, Kati Krähnert

    Analyzing Extreme Weather Events from a Microeconomic Perspective : Workshop of the Research Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia"
    Berlin, 09.03.2015
  • Index Insurance and Disaster Recovery : Evidence from Mongolia
    Veronika Bertram-Hümmer

    Analyzing Extreme Weather Events from a Microeconomic Perspective : Workshop of the Research Project "Coping with Shocks in Mongolia"
    Berlin, 09.03.2015
  • Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia
    Veronika Bertram-Hümmer

    Forschungsseminar der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Hannover
    Hannover, 28.01.2015
  • Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia
    Veronika Bertram-Hümmer

    International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University
    New York, 07.01.2015
  • Does index insurance help households recover from disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia
    Veronika Bertram-Hümmer

    Allied Social Science Associations Annual Meeting 2015
    Boston, 03. - 05.01.2015
  • Index-Based Livestock Insurance and Post-disaster Recovery in Mongolia
    Veronika Bertram-Hümmer

    Development and Security Seminar: Index-Based Livestock Insurance and Post-disaster Recovery in Mongolia
    Berlin, 15.12.2014
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Kati Krähnert

    Women in Science: Seminarreihe des Leibniz-Zentrums für Marine Tropenökologie (ZMT)
    Bremen, 17.09.2014
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Kati Krähnert

    Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik
    Hamburg, 07.09.2014
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Valeria Groppo

    Annual Congress of the European Economic Association
    Toulouse, France, 25.08.2014
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Kati Krähnert

    Seminar Series on Research in Development Economics
    Berlin, 17.07.2014
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Kati Krähnert

    Entwicklungsausschuss des Vereins für Socialpolitik
    Passau, 27.06.2014
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Kati Krähnert

    European Society for Population Economics
    Braga, Portugal, 18.06.2014
  • The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Child Health
    Kati Krähnert

    Entwicklungsökonomisches Seminar am Institut für Weltwirtschaft
    Kiel, 22.04.2014
  • Index-Based Insurance and Disaster Risk Resilience in Mongolian Herder Communities
    Veronika Bertram-Hümmer

    2nd Research Workshop on Microinsurance : Munich Re Foundation, University of Munich
    München, 19.03.2014

Publications

Aufsätze referiert extern - ISI (2017)

Does Index Insurance Help Households Recover from Disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia

Veronika Bertram-Hümmer, Kati Krähnert
Aufsätze referiert extern - ISI (2 / 2017)

The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Education

Valeria Groppo, Kati Krähnert
Aufsätze referiert extern - ISI (8 / 2017)

Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning

Katharina Lehmann-Uschner, Kati Krähnert
Aufsätze referiert extern - ISI (2016)

Extreme Weather Events and Child Height: Evidence from Mongolia

Valeria Groppo, Kati Krähnert
Diskussionspapiere/ Discussion Papers (2015)

Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning

Katharina Lehmann-Uschner, Kati Krähnert
Diskussionspapiere/ Discussion Papers (2015)

The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Education

Valeria Groppo, Kati Krähnert
Diskussionspapiere/ Discussion Papers (2015)

Does Index Insurance Help Households Recover from Disaster? Evidence from IBLI Mongolia

Veronika Bertram-Huemmer, Kati Kraehnert
DIW Economic Bulletin (12 / 2014)

The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Children’s Height: Evidence from Mongolia

Valeria Groppo, Kati Krähnert
Diskussionspapiere/ Discussion Papers (2014)

Extreme Weather Events and Child Height: Evidence from Mongolia

Valeria Groppo, Kati Schindler
DIW Roundup (2014)

Index-basierte Wetterversicherungen in Entwicklungsländern

Veronika Bertram-Hümmer