Decentralized Management Hinders Coastal Climate Adaptation: The Spatial-Dynamics of Beach Nourishment

40 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2014

See all articles by Sathya Gopalakrishnan

Sathya Gopalakrishnan

Ohio State University (OSU)

Dylan McNamara

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Wilmington

Martin D. Smith

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment

A. Brad Murray

Duke University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

Climate change threatens to alter coastline erosion patterns in space and time and coastal communities adapt to these threats with decentralized shoreline stabilization measures. We model strategic interaction between two neighboring towns, and explore welfare implications of spatial-dynamic feedbacks in the coastal zone. When communities are adjacent, the seaward community loses sand to the landward community through alongshore sediment transport. Strategic interactions create incentives for both communities nourish less, resulting in lower long-run beach width and lower property values in both communities, a result that parallels the classic prisoner’s dilemma. Intensifying erosion — consistent with accelerating sea level rise — increases the losses from failure to coordinate. Higher erosion also increases inequality in the distribution of benefits across communities under spatially coordinated management. This disincentive to coordinate suggests the need for higher-level government intervention to address a traditionally local problem. We show that a spatially targeted subsidy can achieve the first best outcome and explore conditions under which a second-best uniform subsidy leads to small or large losses.

Keywords: beach nourishment, sea level rise, spatial dynamic feedbacks, climate adaptation

JEL Classification: Q20

Suggested Citation

Gopalakrishnan, Sathya and McNamara, Dylan and Smith, Martin D. and Murray, A. Brad, Decentralized Management Hinders Coastal Climate Adaptation: The Spatial-Dynamics of Beach Nourishment (June 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2457631 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2457631

Sathya Gopalakrishnan (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) ( email )

Dept. of Ag, Env & Dev Economics
2120 Fyffe Rd
Columbus, OH 43210

Dylan McNamara

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Wilmington ( email )

601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403
United States

Martin D. Smith

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment ( email )

Box 90328
A122 LSRC
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States
919-613-8028 (Phone)
919-684-8741 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://fds.duke.edu/db/Nicholas/esp/faculty/marsmith

A. Brad Murray

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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