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Is Agricultural Production Becoming More or Less Sensitive to Extreme Heat? Evidence from U.S. Corn and Soybean Yields

In: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy

  • Michael J. Roberts
  • Wolfram Schlenker

Extreme heat is the single best predictor of corn and soybean yields in the United States. While average yields have risen continuously since World War II, we find no evidence that relative tolerance to extreme heat has improved between 1950 and 2005. Climate change forecasts project a sharp increase in extreme heat by the end of the century, with the potential to significantly reduce yields under current technologies.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Don Fullerton & Catherine Wolfram, 2012. "The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number full10-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12162.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12162
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Olivier Desch´┐Żnes & Michael Greenstone, 2007. "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change: Evidence from Agricultural Output and Random Fluctuations in Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 354-385, March.
    2. Michael J. Roberts & Wolfram Schlenker, 2010. "Identifying Supply and Demand Elasticities of Agricultural Commodities: Implications for the US Ethanol Mandate," NBER Working Papers 15921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Wolfram Schlenker & W. Michael Hanemann & Anthony C. Fisher, 2006. "The Impact of Global Warming on U.S. Agriculture: An Econometric Analysis of Optimal Growing Conditions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 113-125, February.
    4. Alston, Julian M. & Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes, 1998. "Financing agricultural research: International investment patterns and policy perspectives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1057-1071, June.
    5. 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 753-71, September.
    6. Michael J. Roberts & Wolfram Schlenker, 2011. "The Evolution of Heat Tolerance of Corn: Implications for Climate Change," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Climate Change: Adaptations Past and Present, pages 225-251 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Nancy T. Gallini & Brian D. Wright, 1990. "Technology Transfer under Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 147-160, Spring.
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