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Identifying the Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture


The ultimate impact of climate change on human systems will depend on the natural resilience of ecosystems on which societies rely as well as on adaptation measures taken by agents, individually and collectively. No sector of the economy is more reliant on climate than agriculture. Evidence from the American settlement process suggests that societies can successfully adapt to new climatic environments. Whether and how much agriculture will manage to adapt to a changing climate remains an open question in the empirical economics literature, however. This article reviews the existing evidence on weather and/or climate impacts on agricultural outcomes from the economics literature, with a focus on methodological questions. Some key econometric issues associated with climate impact measurement are discussed. We also outline important questions that have not been adequately addressed and suggest directions for future research.

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