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Can farmers adapt to higher temperatures? Evidence from India

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  • Taraz, Vis

Abstract

Projections suggest that the damages from climate change will be substantial for developing countries. Understanding the ability of households in these countries to adapt to climate change is critical in order to determine the magnitude of the potential damages. In this paper, I investigate the ability of farmers in India to adapt to higher temperatures. I use a methodology that exploits short-term weather fluctuations as well as spatial variation in long-run climate. Specifically, I estimate how damaging high temperatures are for districts that experience high temperatures more or less frequently. I find that the losses from high temperatures are lower in heat-prone districts, a result that is consistent with adaptation. However, while adaptation appears to be modestly effective for moderate levels of heat, my results suggest that adaptation to extreme heat is much more difficult. Extremely high temperatures do grave damage to crops, even in places that experience these temperature extremes regularly. The persistence of negative impacts of high temperatures, even in areas that experience high temperatures frequently, underscores the need for development policies that emphasize risk mitigation and explicitly account for climate-change-related risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Taraz, Vis, 2018. "Can farmers adapt to higher temperatures? Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 205-219.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:112:y:2018:i:c:p:205-219
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.08.006
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    Cited by:

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    3. Francisco Costa & Fabien Forge & Jason Garred & João Paulo Pessoa, 2020. "Climate Change and the Distribution of Agricultural Output," Working Papers 2003E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    4. Costa, Francisco J M & Forge, Fabien & Garred, Jason & Pessoa, João Paulo, 2020. "The Impact of Climate Change on Risk and Return in Indian Agriculture," SocArXiv yxzfu, Center for Open Science.
    5. Théo Benonnier & Katrin Millock & Vis Taraz, 2019. "Climate change, migration, and irrigation," PSE Working Papers halshs-02107098, HAL.
    6. Théo Benonnier & Katrin Millock & Vis Taraz, 2019. "Climate change, migration, and irrigation," Working Papers halshs-02107098, HAL.
    7. Ponce, Carmen, 2020. "Intra-seasonal climate variability and crop diversification strategies in the Peruvian Andes: A word of caution on the sustainability of adaptation to climate change," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    8. Barbora Sedova & Matthias Kalkuhl & Robert Mendelsohn, 2020. "Distributional Impacts of Weather and Climate in Rural India," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-44, April.
    9. Roy, Brototi & Schaffartzik, Anke, 2021. "Talk renewables, walk coal: The paradox of India's energy transition," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adaptation; Climate change; Agriculture; India; Crop choice;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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