Evolving Comparative Advantage and the Impact of Climate Change in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from 1.7 Million Fields around the World (with Arnaud Costinot and Dave Donaldson)
Journal of Political Economy, 124(1), February 2016: 205-248
Abstract: A large agronomic literature models the implications of climate change for a variety of crops and locations around the world. The goal of the present paper is to quantify the macro-level consequences of these micro-level shocks. Using an extremely rich micro-level data set that contains information about the productivity—both before and after climate change—of each of 10 crops for each of 1.7 million fields covering the surface of the earth, we find that the impact of climate change on these agricultural markets would amount to a 0.26 percent reduction in global GDP when trade and production patterns are allowed to adjust. Since the value of output in our 10 crops is equal to 1.8 percent of world GDP, this corresponds to about one-sixth of total crop value.