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A diagnostic approach to the institutional analysis of climate adaptation

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  • Oberlack, Christoph
  • Neumärker, Bernhard

Abstract

Economics has a key role to play for understanding vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. However, economic approaches to climate adaptation are rarely articulated and discussed at a framework level. This article first reviews and critically assesses welfare economics approaches to climate adaptation and, secondly, develops a novel institutional economics approach to climate adaptation. Concepts and tools of welfare economics have contributed to assessments of benefits and costs of adaptation; outlined strategies for adaptation; identified responsibilities of the public sector and described policy instruments for adaptation. However, the neoclassical framing of collective action based on the concept of market failure seems too narrow to do analytical justice to the multitude of governance challenges associated with adaptation. Adaptation economics seems underequipped with analytical tools to study the role of institutions for climate adaptation. Therefore, an institutional economics approach to climate adaptation is developed and illustrated. This approach contributes to integrated economic analyses of climate adaptation in three major ways: First, by broadening the scope of climate adaptation economics; second, by delivering a diagnostic framework of climate adaptation that enables the analyst to explain adaptation processes in a systematic manner, synthesizes findings from a large number of research efforts, places particular research questions, governance problems and results in a broader context, and can guide the design of theoretical and empirical inquiries of climate adaptation; third, by offering research strategies and methods for developing generalisable and valid insights in the face of pronounced heterogeneity and diversity of climate adaptation.

Suggested Citation

  • Oberlack, Christoph & Neumärker, Bernhard, 2013. "A diagnostic approach to the institutional analysis of climate adaptation," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 01-2013, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cenwps:012013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Oberlack, Christoph, 2014. "Institutional diagnostics of climate adaptation," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 01-2014, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
    2. repec:spr:masfgc:v:22:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11027-015-9699-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economics of Climate Adaptation; Institutional Economics; Governance of Climate Adaptation; Diagnostic Framework;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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