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Can China continue feeding itself ? the impact of climate change on agriculture

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  • Wang, Jinxia
  • Mendelsohn, Robert
  • Dinar, Ariel
  • Huang, Jikun
  • Rozelle, Scott
  • Zhang, Lijuan

Abstract

Several studies addressing the supply and demand for food in China suggest that the nation can largely meet its needs in the coming decades. However, these studies do not consider the effects of climate change. This paper examines whether near future expected changes in climate are likely to alter this picture. The authors analyze the effect of temperature and precipitation on net crop revenues using a cross section consisting of both rainfed and irrigated farms. Based on survey data from 8,405 households across 28 provinces, the results of the Ricardian analysis demonstrate that global warming is likely to be harmful to China but the impacts are likely to be very different in each region. The mid latitude region of China may benefit from warming but the southern and northern regions are likely to be damaged by warming. More precipitation is beneficial to Chinese farmers except in the wet southeast. Irrigated and rainfed farmers have similar responses to precipitation but not to temperature. Warmer temperatures may benefit irrigated farms but they are likely to harm rainfed farms. Finally, seasonal effects vary and are offsetting. Although we were able to measure the direct effect of precipitation and temperature, we could not capture the effects of change in water flow which will be very important in China. Can China continue feeding itself if climate changes? Based on the empirical results, the likely gains realized by some farmers will nearly offset the losses that will occur to other farmers in China. If future climate scenarios lead to significant reductions in water, there may be large damages not addressed in this study.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Jinxia & Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Lijuan, 2008. "Can China continue feeding itself ? the impact of climate change on agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4470, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4470
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zeynep K. Hansen & Gary D. Libecap & Scott E. Lowe, 2011. "Climate Variability and Water Infrastructure: Historical Experience in the Western United States," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Climate Change: Adaptations Past and Present, pages 253-280 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pinki Mondal & Meha Jain & Andrew Robertson & Gillian Galford & Christopher Small & Ruth DeFries, 2014. "Winter crop sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability in central India," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 61-76, September.
    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. Zhai, Fan & Lin, Tun & Byambadorj, Enerelt, 2009. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of the Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in the People’s Republic of China," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 26(1), pages 206-225.
    5. Eskander, Shaikh & Barbier, Edward, 2016. "Adaptation to Natural Disasters Through the Agricultural Land Rental Market: Evidence from Bangladesh," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235648, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Hansen, James M. & Tuan, Francis C. & Somwaru, Agapi, 2012. "Climate Change and The Uncertainty of CO2 Fertilization: Possible Effects on China's Grain Trade," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126878, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Seo, Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep & Hassan, Rashid, 2008. "Long-term adaptation : selecting farm types across agro-ecological zones in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4602, The World Bank.
    8. Auffhammer, Maximilian & Schlenker, Wolfram, 2014. "Empirical studies on agricultural impacts and adaptation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 555-561.
    9. Oussama Zouabi & Mohamed Kadria, 2016. "The direct and indirect effect of climate change on citrus production in Tunisia: a macro and micro spatial analysis," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 139(2), pages 307-324, November.
    10. Kondwani Msowoya & Kaveh Madani & Rahman Davtalab & Ali Mirchi & Jay R. Lund, 2016. "Climate Change Impacts on Maize Production in the Warm Heart of Africa," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(14), pages 5299-5312, November.
    11. Independent Evaluation Group, 2011. "Growth and Productivity in Agriculture and Agribusiness : Evaluative Lessons from World Bank Group Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2279, April.

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    Keywords

    Climate Change; Crops&Crop Management Systems; Global Environment Facility; Common Property Resource Development; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems;

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