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Whether the weather matters November 5, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in economics, ideas, india.
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This is funny, interesting but does this explain why my home district of Udupi-Mangalore ( the erstwhile Dakshina Kannada ) is one of the most peaceful (with few exceptions), prosperous and educated districts in the country ?

It turns out that rainfall often has a surprisingly strong effect on violence. In a paper on the economic aftermath of the hundreds of riots in American cities during the 1960’s, William Collins and Robert Margo used rainfall as a variable to compare the cities where riots took place with cities where riots probably would have taken place had it not rained. Few things can dampen a rioter’s spirit more than a soaking rain, they learned. After two days of rioting in Miami in the summer of 1968 were finally quelled by rain, they write, the Dade County sheriff joked to The New York Times that he had ordered his off-duty officers to pray for more rain.

Think about it, what happens to an enraged mob when it pours like it does in Udupi ! ( I miss those rains don’t I !). Ofcourse, even bitter cold dampens people’s spirits but then temperatures cannot drop 20 degrees in 5 minutes !!. What about snowfall ? Well, somebody should study that now 🙂 – though the effect may not be that profound.

Well, what explains the fact that Udupi-Mangalore has one of the most highest sex-ratios in India ( 9th when I saw last – dont remember the source ). There are apparently 1020 females for every 1000 males whereas the national average is 972. I assume these are at birth, otherwise the fact that several thousand households have male members working in the middle-east may explain this.

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