Date of Award


Degree Type



Moore School of Business

Director of Thesis

Dr. Robert Gozalez

First Reader

Dr. Hildy Teegen

Second Reader

Dr. Hildy Teegen


This senior thesis seeks to determine the impact that the level of coffee production in Colombia has on economic wellbeing in the country. As a proxy for economic wellbeing in different arenas, I look at the income, health, and education variables of GDP, infant mortality rate, and secondary education enrollment. I use a Two-Stage Least Squares regression model to estimate this impact, with lagged international coffee prices and the occurrence of the fungal plant disease coffee leaf rust as instruments to account for endogeneity. The data which I use in this project include country-level indicators from the World Bank and monthly coffee production quantities from Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers. I find that a 10 percent increase in coffee production is significantly associated with a roughly 3.4% increase in GDP. I find the estimated effect of coffee production on the infant mortality rate, given a 10 percent increase in coffee production, to be a decrease of .6 deaths per thousand live births, but this result is not statistically significant. Lastly, I find that a 10 percent increase in coffee production is associated with a statistically significant decrease in the ratio of secondary educational enrollment by 2.4 points, while the current baseline is around 40 points.

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© 2017, Luke Alexander Ferguson