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Estimates of the Economic Effects of Sea Level Rise

  • Roy Darwin
  • Richard Tol

Regional estimates of direct cost (DC) are commonly used to measure the economic damages of sea level rise. Such estimates suffer from three limitations:(i) values of threatened endowments are not well known, (ii) loss of endowments does not affect consumer prices, and (iii) international trade is disregarded. Results in this paper indicate that these limitations can significantly affect economic assessments of sea level rise. Current uncertainty regarding endowment values (as reflected in two alternative data sets), for example, leads to a 17 percent difference in coastal protection, a 36 percent difference in the amount of land protected, and a 36 percent difference in DC globally. Also, global losses in equivalent variation (EV), a welfare measure that accounts for price changes, are 13 percent higher than DC estimates. Regional EV losses may be up to 10 percent lower than regional DC, however, because international trade tends to redistribute losses from regions with relatively high damages to regions with relatively low damages. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1011136417375
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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 113-129

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:19:y:2001:i:2:p:113-129
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  1. R K Turner & N Adger & P Doktor, 1995. "Assessing the economic costs of sea level rise," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 27(11), pages 1777-1796, November.
  2. Darwin, Roy & Tsigas, Marinos & Lewandrowski, Jan & Raneses, Anton, 1996. "Land use and cover in ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 157-181, June.
  3. Tol, Richard S. J., 1996. "The damage costs of climate change towards a dynamic representation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 67-90, October.
  4. Nordhaus, William D, 1991. "To Slow or Not to Slow: The Economics of the Greenhouse Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 920-37, July.
  5. Yohe Gary & Neumann James & Ameden Holly, 1995. "Assessing the Economic Cost of Greenhouse-Induced Sea Level Rise: Methods and Application in Support of a National Survey," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S78-S97, November.
  6. William R. Cline, 1992. "Economics of Global Warming, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 39, March.
  7. Richard Tol, 1999. "Spatial and Temporal Efficiency in Climate Policy: Applications of FUND," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 33-49, July.
  8. Darwin, Roy & Tsigas, Marinos E. & Lewandrowski, Jan & Raneses, Anton, 1995. "World Agriculture and Climate Change: Economic Adaptations," Agricultural Economics Reports 33933, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  9. W. Jill Harrison & K.R. Pearson, 1994. "Computing Solutions for Large General Equilibrium Models Using GEMPACK," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers ip-64, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
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