Better Predictions, Better Allocations: Scientific Advances and Adaptation to Climate Change
44 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2015 Last revised: 25 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 2015
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.
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