Better Predictions, Better Allocations: Scientific Advances and Adaptation to Climate Change

44 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2015 Last revised: 25 Aug 2021

See all articles by Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman

Loughborough University

Ben Groom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Richard J. Zeckhauser

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2015

Abstract

The initial hope for climate science was that an improved understanding of what the future might bring would lead to appropriate public policies and effective international climate agreements. Even if that hope is not realized, as now seems likely, scientific advances leading to a more refined assessment of the uncertainties surrounding the future impacts of climate change would facilitate more appropriate adaptation measures. Such measures might involve shifting modes or locales of production, for example. This article focuses on two broader tools: consumption smoothing in anticipation of future losses, and physical adaptation measures to reduce damages. It shows that informative signals on climate-change effects lead to better decisions in the use of each tool.

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Mark and Groom, Ben and Zeckhauser, Richard J., Better Predictions, Better Allocations: Scientific Advances and Adaptation to Climate Change (August 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21463, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2645559

Mark Freeman (Contact Author)

Loughborough University ( email )

Ashby Road
Loughborough, LE11 3TU
Great Britain
+44-1509-223107 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sbe/staff/profiles/freemanmark/freeman-mark-.html

Ben Groom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Richard J. Zeckhauser

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1174 (Phone)
617-384-9340 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1174 (Phone)
617-496-3783 (Fax)

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