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Climate Change and Damage from Extreme Weather Events


  • Robert Repetto
  • Robert Easton


The risks of extreme weather events are typically being estimated, by federal agencies and others, with historical frequency data assumed to reflect future probabilities. These estimates may not yet have adequately factored in the effects of past and future climate change, despite strong evidence of a changing climate. They have relied on historical data stretching back as far as fifty or a hundred years that may be increasingly unrepresentative of future conditions. Government and private organizations that use these risk assessments in designing programs and projects with long expected lifetimes may therefore be investing too little to make existing and newly constructed infrastructure resistant to the effects of changing climate. New investments designed to these historical risk standards may suffer excess damages and poor returns. This paper illustrates the issue with an economic analysis of the risks of relatively intense hurricanes striking the New York City region.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Repetto & Robert Easton, 2009. "Climate Change and Damage from Extreme Weather Events," Working Papers wp207, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp207

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    Cited by:

    1. Leo Dobes, 2010. "Notes on Applying 'Real Options' to Climate Change Adaptation Measures, with Examples from Vietnam," CCEP Working Papers 0710, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. World Bank, 2011. "Climate Change and Fiscal Policy : A Report for APEC," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2734, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    climate; global warming; natural disasters; risk; adaptation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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