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Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change in Rich and Poor Countries: Current Modeling Practice and Potential for Empirical Contributions

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  • Hertel, Thomas
  • David Lobell

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the scope of the adaptation challenge facing world agriculture in the coming decades. Due to rising temperatures throughout the tropics, pressures for adaptation will be greatest in some of the poorest parts of the world where the adaptive capacity is least abundant. We discuss both autonomous (market driven) and planned adaptations, distinguishing: (a) those that can be undertaken with existing technology, (b) those that involve development of new technologies, and (c) those that involve institutional/market and policy reforms. The paper then proceeds to identify which of these adaptations are currently modeled in integrated assessment studies and related analyses at global scale. This, in turn, gives rise to recommendations about how these models should be modified in order to more effectively capture climate change adaptation in the farm and food sector. In general, we find that existing integrated assessment models are better suited to analyzing adaptation by relative well-endowed producers in the developed countries. They likely understate climate impacts on agriculture in developing countries, while overstating the potential adaptations. This is troubling, since the need for adaptation will be greatest amongst the lower income producers in the poorest tropical countries. This is also where policies and public investments are likely to have the highest payoff. We conclude with a discussion of opportunities for improving the empirical foundations of integrated assessment modeling with an emphasis on the poorest countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Hertel, Thomas & David Lobell, 2013. "Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change in Rich and Poor Countries: Current Modeling Practice and Potential for Empirical Contributions," GTAP Working Papers 4030, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  • Handle: RePEc:gta:workpp:4030
    Note: GTAP Working Paper No. 72
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    Cited by:

    1. Hjort, Ingrid, 2016. "Potential Climate Risks in Financial Markets: A Literature Overview," Memorandum 01/2016, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Yalew, Amsalu W. & Hirte, Georg & Lotze-Campen, Hermann & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2017. "General equilibrium effects of public adaptation in agriculture in LDCs: Evidence from Ethiopia," CEPIE Working Papers 11/17, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    3. repec:eee:agisys:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:81-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Yalew, Amsalu W. & Hirte, Georg & Lotze-Campen, Hermann & Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2017. "Economic effects of climate change in developing countries: Economy-wide and regional analysis for Ethiopia," CEPIE Working Papers 10/17, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    5. Auffhammer, Maximilian & Schlenker, Wolfram, 2014. "Empirical studies on agricultural impacts and adaptation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 555-561.
    6. Hertel, Thomas W., 2015. "The Challenges of Sustainably Feeding a Growing Planet," 2015 Conference (59th), February 10-13, 2015, Rotorua, New Zealand 202525, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    7. Jones, Peter G. & Thornton, Philip K., 2015. "Representative soil profiles for the Harmonized World Soil Database at different spatial resolutions for agricultural modelling applications," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 93-99.
    8. Richard S. J. Tol, 2016. "The Impacts Of Climate Change According To The Ipcc," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(01), pages 1-20, February.
    9. Song, Jingyu & Delgado, Michael & Preckel, Paul & Villoria, Nelson, 2016. "Pixel Level Cropland Allocation and Marginal Impacts of Biophysical Factors," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235327, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Vale, Petterson Molina, 2016. "The changing climate of climate change economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 12-19.
    11. repec:oup:renvpo:v:11:y:2017:i:2:p:299-318. is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Tsvetan Tsvetanov & Lingqiao Qi & Deep Mukherjee & Farhed Shah & Boris Bravo-Ureta, 2016. "Climate Change And Land Use In Southeastern U.S.: Did The “Dumb Farmer” Get It Wrong?," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(03), pages 1-35, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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