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Evolving Comparative Advantage and the Impact of Climate Change in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from 1.7 Million Fields around the World

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  • Arnaud Costinot
  • Dave Donaldson
  • Cory Smith

Abstract

A large agronomic literature models the implications of climate change for a variety of crops and locations around the world. The goal of the present paper is to quantify the macro-level consequences of these micro-level shocks. Using an extremely rich micro-level data set that contains information about the productivity--both before and after climate change--of each of 10 crops for each of 1.7 million fields covering the surface of the earth, we find that the impact of climate change on these agricultural markets would amount to a 0.26 percent reduction in global GDP when trade and production patterns are allowed to adjust. Since the value of output in our 10 crops is equal to 1.8 percent of world GDP, this corresponds to about one-sixth of total crop value.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Cory Smith, 2016. "Evolving Comparative Advantage and the Impact of Climate Change in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from 1.7 Million Fields around the World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 205-248.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/684719
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    2. Joshua Elliott & Ian Foster & Samuel Kortum & Todd Munson & Fernando Pérez Cervantes & David Weisbach, 2010. "Trade and Carbon Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 465-469, May.
    3. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2008. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 37-48, February.
    4. Randhir, Timothy O. & Hertel, Thomas W., 2000. "Trade Liberalization as a Vehicle for Adapting to Global Warming," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 159-172, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General

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