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From beef cattle to sheep under global warming? An analysis of adaptation by livestock species choice in South America

  • Seo, S. Niggol
  • McCarl, Bruce A.
  • Mendelsohn, Robert

This paper examines how South American farmers' choices of livestock species vary across the range of climate and in turn infer from them as to what would happen under climate changes. We examine the choice of five primary species using a multinomial logit model with and without climate variability measures based on 1300 livestock farm surveys in seven countries. The results indicate that climate variables are highly significant determinants of primary species choice after controlling for soils, geography, household characteristics, and country fixed effects. We find the probability of adopting any livestock increases with warming, but decreases when it becomes too wet. The impacts of climate change would vary by species and climate scenarios. For example, under a hot and dry CCC scenario by 2060, beef cattle decrease by 3.2%, dairy cattle by 2.3%, pigs by 0.5%, and chickens by 0.9%, which is offset by a large increase in sheep by 7%. These adaptive changes vary again by country. Large changes are observed in the Andean countries. Under the hot dry scenario, dairy cattle increase in Uruguay and Argentina, but decrease elsewhere. The increase in sheep occurs mostly in the Andes mountain countries such as Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Under a milder and wetter scenario, beef cattle choice declines in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, but increases in Argentina and Chile. Sheep increase in Colombia and Venezuela, but decrease in the high mountains of Chile where chickens are chosen more frequently.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (October)
Pages: 2486-2494

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2486-2494
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-417, November.
  2. Steiger, Carlos, 2006. "Modern Beef Production in Brazil and Argentina," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 21(2).
  3. Rose, Steven K. & McCarl, Bruce A., 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Stabilization and the Inevitability of Adaptation: Challenges for U.S. Agriculture," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 23(1).
  4. Henk A. J. Moll, 2005. "Costs and benefits of livestock systems and the role of market and nonmarket relationships," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(2), pages 181-193, 03.
  5. Kelly, David L. & Kolstad, Charles D. & Mitchell, Glenn T., 2005. "Adjustment costs from environmental change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 468-495, November.
  6. Seo, S. Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2008. "Animal husbandry in Africa: Climate change impacts and adaptations," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 2(1), March.
  7. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, March.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Cline, William R, 1996. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1309-11, December.
  11. Seo, S. Niggol, 2010. "Is an integrated farm more resilient against climate change? A micro-econometric analysis of portfolio diversification in African agriculture," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 32-40, February.
  12. S. Niggol Seo & Robert Mendelsohn, 2008. "Measuring impacts and adaptations to climate change: a structural Ricardian model of African livestock management-super-1," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(2), pages 151-165, 03.
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