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Climate change impacts on animal husbandry in Africa : a Ricardian analysis


  • Mendelsohn, Robert
  • Seo, Sungno Niggol


This paper analyzes the impact of climate change on animal husbandry in Africa. It regresses the net revenue from raising animals in small and large farms across Africa on climate, soil, and other control variables to test the climate sensitivity of livestock. The study is based on a survey of over 9,000 farmers across 11 countries conducted by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility. From this dataset, 5,400 farms were found to rely on livestock. The paper develops models to test whether the climate coefficients of small and large farms are similar. It turns out that small farms tend to be more labor intensive, rely on native stocks, and have few animals. Large farms tend to be more commercial operations, with much larger stocks and more modern approaches. The analysis finds that warming is good for small farms because they can substitute animals that are heat tolerant. Large farms, by contrast, are more dependent on cattle, which are not heat tolerant. The wetter scenarios are likely to be harmful to grazing animals because greater rainfall implies a shift from grasslands to forests, an increase in harmful disease vectors, and a shift from livestock to crops. Overall, because large farms dominate the sector, African livestock net revenues are expected to fall. However, if future climates turn out to be dry, livestock net revenue will increase. At least against the risk of dryness, livestock offer a good substitute for crops.

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  • Mendelsohn, Robert & Seo, Sungno Niggol, 2007. "Climate change impacts on animal husbandry in Africa : a Ricardian analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4261, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4261

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fafchamps, Marcel & Udry, Christopher & Czukas, Katherine, 1998. "Drought and saving in West Africa: are livestock a buffer stock?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 273-305, April.
    2. Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Sanghi, Apurva, 2001. "The effect of development on the climate sensitivity of agriculture," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-101, February.
    3. 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 753-771, September.
    4. Cline, William R, 1996. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1309-1311, December.
    5. Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel, 1999. "Climate Change, Agriculture, and Developing Countries: Does Adaptation Matter?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 277-293, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. S. Seo & Robert Mendelsohn & Ariel Dinar & Rashid Hassan & Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, 2009. "A Ricardian Analysis of the Distribution of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture across Agro-Ecological Zones in Africa," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 313-332, July.
    2. Maganga, Assa & Malakini, Memory, 2015. "Agrarian Impact of Climate Change in Malawi: A Quantile Ricardian Analysis," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212208, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Wang, Jinxia & Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Huang, Jikun, 2008. "How China's farmers adapt to climate change," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4758, The World Bank.
    4. World Bank, 2008. "Ethiopia - A Country Study on the Economic Impacts of Climate Change," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8030, The World Bank.
    5. Seo, Sungno Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2007. "The impact of climate change on livestock management in Africa : a structural Ricardian analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4279, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    Livestock&Animal Husbandry; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems; Climate Change; Dairies&Dairying; Wildlife Resources;

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