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Costs of adjustment to climate change


  • John Quiggin
  • John Horowitz


The present paper argues that the costs of climate change are primarily adjustment costs. The central result is that climate change will reduce welfare whenever it occurs more rapidly than the rate at which capital stocks (interpreted broadly to include natural resource stocks) would naturally adjust through market processes. The costs of climate change can be large even when lands are close to their climatic optimum, or evenly distributed both above and below that optimum. Copyright Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Inc. and Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • John Quiggin & John Horowitz, 2003. "Costs of adjustment to climate change," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(4), pages 429-446, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajarec:v:47:y:2003:i:4:p:429-446

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Quiggin, John, 1998. "Existence Value and the Contingent Valuation Method," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 312-329, September.
    2. John K. Horowitz & John Quiggin, 1999. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1044-1045, September.
    3. Bockstael, Nancy E. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 1981. "Theory and estimation of the household production function for wildlife recreation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 199-214, September.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
    5. Mendelsohn, Robert & Nordhaus, William D & Shaw, Daigee, 1994. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 753-771, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quiggin, John, 2005. "Counting the cost of climate change at an agricultural level," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 152085, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "Pareto Optimality in the Extraction of Fossil Fuels and the Greenhouse Effect: A Note," NBER Working Papers 13453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Holden , Stein T. & Quiggin, John, 2015. "Climate risk and state-contingent technology adoption: The role of risk preferences and probability weighting," Working Paper Series 15-2015, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business.
    4. Zeynep K. Hansen & Gary D. Libecap & Scott E. Lowe, 2011. "Climate Variability and Water Infrastructure: Historical Experience in the Western United States," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Climate Change: Adaptations Past and Present, pages 253-280 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Shkarlet, Serhiy & Petrakov, Iaroslav, 2013. "Environmental Taxation Evolution in Ukraine: Trends, Challenges and Outlook," MPRA Paper 45168, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 May 2013.
    6. John Quiggin, 2010. "Agriculture and global climate stabilization: a public good analysis," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(s1), pages 121-132, November.
    7. Armbruster, Walter J. & Coyle, William T., 2009. "Climate Change and the Asia-Pacific Food System," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 48152, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Quiggin, John C., 2009. "Agriculture and global climate stabilization," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 53204, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Quiggin, John & Adamson, David & Chambers, Sarah & Schrobback, Peggy, 2009. "Climate change, mitigation and adaptation: the case of the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 149878, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    10. Ron Balvers & Ding Du & Xiaobing Zhao, 2009. "What Do Financial Markets Reveal about Global Warming?," Working Papers 09-04, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    11. Mullen, John & Keogh, Mick, 2013. "The Future Productivity and Competitiveness Challenge for Australian Agriculture," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152170, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    12. Hertel, Thomas W., 2013. "Land, Environment and Climate: Contributing to the Global Public Good," WIDER Working Paper Series 107, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Allan, Corey & Kerr, Suzi, 2013. "Examining Patterns in and Drivers of Rural Land Values," 2013 Conference, August 28-30, 2013, Christchurch, New Zealand 160191, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    14. Balvers, Ronald & Du, Ding & Zhao, Xiaobing, 2017. "Temperature shocks and the cost of equity capital: Implications for climate change perceptions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 18-34.
    15. Kingwell, Ross S., 2006. "Is Hanrahan sort of right? Will climate change ruin us all?," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 137961, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    16. David Zilberman & Xuemei Liu & David Roland-Holst & David Sunding, 2004. "The economics of climate change in agriculture," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 365-382, October.
    17. Holden, Stein T., 2015. "Risk Preferences, Shocks and Technology Adoption: Farmers’ Responses to Drought Risk," CLTS Working Papers 3/15, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    18. Hertel, Thomas W. & Lobell, David B., 2014. "Agricultural adaptation to climate change in rich and poor countries: Current modeling practice and potential for empirical contributions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 562-575.
    19. John Horowitz, 2009. "The Income–Temperature Relationship in a Cross-Section of Countries and its Implications for Predicting the Effects of Global Warming," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(4), pages 475-493, December.
    20. Channing Arndt & Adam Schlosser & Kenneth Strzepek & James Thurlow, 2014. "Climate Change and Economic Growth Prospects for Malawi: An Uncertainty Approach," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(suppl_2), pages 83-107.
    21. Holden , Stein T. & Quiggin, John, 2017. "Probability Weighting and Input Use Intensity in a State-Contingent Framework," CLTS Working Papers 8/17, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    22. Silvia Micheli & Carlo Andrea Bollino, 2011. "Sustainable growth with renewable and non-renewable energy sources," EcoMod2011 3213, EcoMod.
    23. Balvers, Ronald & Du, Ding & Zhao, Xiaobing, 2012. "The Adverse Impact of Gradual Temperature Change on Capital Investment," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124676, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    24. Kingwell, Ross S., 2006. "Climate change in Australia: agricultural impacts and adaptation," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 14.

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