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An analysis of crop choice: Adapting to climate change in South American farms

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  • Seo, S. Niggol
  • Mendelsohn, Robert

Abstract

This paper explores how South American farmers adapt to climate by changing crops. We develop a multinomial logit model of farmer's choice of crops. Estimating the model across 949 farmers in seven countries, we find that both temperature and precipitation affect the crops that South American farmers choose. Farmers choose fruits and vegetables in warmer locations and wheat and potatoes in cooler locations. Farms in wetter locations are more likely to grow rice, fruits, potatoes, and squash and in dryer locations maize and wheat. Global warming will cause South American farmers to switch away from maize, wheat, and potatoes towards squash, fruits and vegetables. Predictions of the impact of climate change on net revenue must reflect not only changes in yields per crop but also crop switching.

Suggested Citation

  • Seo, S. Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2008. "An analysis of crop choice: Adapting to climate change in South American farms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 109-116, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:109-116
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2007. "Crop selection : adapting to climage change in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4307, The World Bank.
    3. Beach, Robert H. & Thomson, Allison M. & McCarl, Bruce A., 2010. "Climate Change Impacts On Us Agriculture," Proceedings Issues, 2010: Climate Change in World Agriculture: Mitigation, Adaptation, Trade and Food Security, June 2010, Stuttgart- Hohenheim, Germany 91393, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    4. Barry Smit & Ian Burton & Richard Klein & J. Wandel, 2000. "An Anatomy of Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 223-251, April.
    5. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387.
    6. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
    7. Seo, Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2007. "A Ricardian analysis of the impact of climate change on Latin American farms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4163, The World Bank.
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