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A Survey of Global Impacts of Climate Change: Replication, Survey Methods, and a Statistical Analysis

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  • William D. Nordhaus
  • Andrew Moffat

Abstract

The present study has two objectives. The first is a review of studies that estimate the global economic impacts of climate change using a systematic research synthesis (SRS). In this review, we attempt to replicate the impact estimates provided by Tol (2009, 2014) and find a large number of errors and estimates that could not be replicated. The study provides revised estimates for a total of 36 usable estimates from 27 studies. A second part of the study performs a statistical analysis. While the different specifications provide alternative estimates of the damage function, there were no large discrepancies among specifications. The preferred regression is the median, quadratic, weighted regression. The data here omit several important potential damages, which we estimate to add 25% to the quantified damages. With this addition, the estimated impact is -2.04 (± 2.21) % of income at 3 °C warming and -8.06 (± 2.43) % of income at 6 °C warming. We also considered the likelihood of thresholds or sharp convexities in the damage function and found no evidence from the damage estimates of a sharp discontinuity or high convexity.

Suggested Citation

  • William D. Nordhaus & Andrew Moffat, 2017. "A Survey of Global Impacts of Climate Change: Replication, Survey Methods, and a Statistical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 23646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23646
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-243, May.
    2. Richard S. J. Tol, 2014. "Correction and Update: The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 221-226, Spring.
    3. Maddison, David, 2003. "The amenity value of the climate: the household production function approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 155-175, May.
    4. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change, Part II. Dynamic Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(2), pages 135-160, February.
    5. Plambeck, Erica L & Hope, Chris, 1996. "PAGE95 : An updated valuation of the impacts of global warming," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(9), pages 783-793, September.
    6. Nordhaus, William D & Yang, Zili, 1996. "A Regional Dynamic General-Equilibrium Model of Alternative Climate-Change Strategies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 741-765, September.
    7. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
    8. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
    9. T.D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos & Margaret Giles & Jost H. Heckemeyer & Robert J. Johnston & Patrice Laroche & Jon P. Nelson & Martin Paldam & Jacques Poot & Geoff Pugh & Randall S. Rosenberger & , 2013. "Meta-Analysis Of Economics Research Reporting Guidelines," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 390-394, April.
    10. T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • 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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