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Better Predictions, Better Allocations: Scientific Advances and Adaptation to Climate Change

Author

Listed:
  • Freeman, Mark C.

    (Loughborough University)

  • Groom, Ben

    (London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Zeckhauser, Richard

    (Harvard Univesrity)

Abstract

The initial hope for climate science was that an improved understanding of what the future might bring would lead to appropriate public policies and effective international climate agreements. Even if that hope is not realized, as now seems likely, scientific advances leading to a more refined assessment of the uncertainties surrounding the future impacts of climate change would facilitate more appropriate adaptation measures. Such measures might involve shifting modes or locales of production, for example. This article focuses on two broader tools: consumption smoothing in anticipation of future losses, and physical adaptation measures to reduce damages. It shows that informative signals on climate-change effects lead to better decisions in the use of each tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Mark C. & Groom, Ben & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2015. "Better Predictions, Better Allocations: Scientific Advances and Adaptation to Climate Change," Working Paper Series 15-051, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:15-051
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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