Expectations and Adaptation to Environmental Risks

74 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2018

See all articles by Jeffrey Shrader

Jeffrey Shrader

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Date Written: November 6, 2017


Climate change is expected to have large, negative effects on the global economy. Adaptation by individuals and firms will determine, in part, how much damage ultimately occurs. This paper introduces a method for estimating forward-looking adaptation based on changes in expectations about the weather, provides conditions under which public forecasts provide good measures for these expectations, and formalizes identification of ex ante adaptation using ex post observations. To apply the method, I build a novel dataset of El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forecasts and estimate adaptation by North Pacific albacore harvesters to ENSO-driven climate variation. The results show that, in this setting, nearly all of the effect of climate variation can be controlled through adaptation. Detailed, firm-level data allows for exploration of mechanisms, showing that vessels primarily adapt by timing entry into the fishery.

Keywords: climate change, adaptation, forecasts, expectations

JEL Classification: Q54, D83, Q51

Suggested Citation

Shrader, Jeffrey, Expectations and Adaptation to Environmental Risks (November 6, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3212073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3212073

Jeffrey Shrader (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jeffreyshrader.com

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