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Flooding the Mind: Flood shocks, aspiration, and labor supply in Nigeria

Energy & Environment Nigeria

River near Gammayim village in Jigawa, Nigeria. Photo credit: Abdulrasheed Isah

Study Context

Despite existing research literature on the consequences of climate change, there is limited evidence on the relationship between extreme weather events, labor reallocation, and psychological outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. This study leverages massive flooding events in Nigeria to understand the labor supply and psychological consequences of weather shocks in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).


Understanding the impact of weather shocks can provide insights into the mechanisms that influence labor reallocation and help design effective policies to support households affected by shocks and economic goals related to structural change.

Study Design

This study estimates impact of flood exposure during the major 2022 floods in Jigawa State, Nigeria by comparing flooded communities to nearby communities with similar characteristics and ex ante predicted flood risk. Researchers collect data from farm households in seventy communities the year after flood exposure, and combine this with spatial data on flooding from NASA and on flood risk from the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), as well as community flood realization data from the Jigawa State Emergency Management Authority. In addition, researchers cross-randomize an intervention where treatment households receive information on recent regional and local flood realizations and predictions of flood risk in the current and future year while control households receive placebo information on the history of Jigawa State.


Outcomes measured include labor reallocation to non-farm activities, migration and displacement, and changes in households’ beliefs about flood risk. Additionally, psychological outcomes such as aspirations, self-efficacy, cognitive functioning, and mental health, as well as the impact of flood-induced changes on expectations related to migration and structural change will also be analyzed. The study design was informed by conversations with the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Results and Policy Lessons

Results forthcoming.

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