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Climate change, cropland adjustments, and food security: Evidence from China

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  • Cui, Xiaomeng
  • Zhong, Zheng

Abstract

Climate change is expected to reduce crop yields, but knowledge on how it affects agricultural land use is still limited. This paper empirically investigates the induced cropland adjustments in responding to long-run climate change in China. Based on county-level data over several decades, we employ a moving-average specification that exploits within-county variation in local climate normals. We show that cropland expands with rising temperature (precipitation) in cold (dry) areas, while the effect is reversed in hot (humid) areas. The results are consistent with the “long-difference” estimates and robust to a host of different specifications. Besides, local crop mix also evolves with the changing climate. However, accounting for the crop-mix adjustments, climate change by the mid-century is still predicted to significantly lower the national calorie provision through induced cropland adjustments, and an average yield growth of 17.6% (21.2%) would be required to offset the associated loss under RCP 4.5 (RCP 8.5).

Suggested Citation

  • Cui, Xiaomeng & Zhong, Zheng, 2024. "Climate change, cropland adjustments, and food security: Evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:167:y:2024:i:c:s0304387823002018
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2023.103245
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Cropland; Food security; Crop mix; Adaptation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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