Environmental Change, Water Scarcity and Farmers' Differentiated Adaptations: Evidence from the Three Gorges Dam

50 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021

See all articles by Ting Chen

Ting Chen

Hong Kong Baptist University - Department of Economics

Chong Liu

Peking University

Sen Ma

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Economics; Jinan University - Institute for Economic and Social Research

Date Written: February 19, 2021

Abstract

Using the 2003 initial impoundment of the world's largest hydroelectric dam as a natural experiment, we assess how rural households with varying endowments adapt differently to the dam-induced water scarcity in the downstream area. In response to a 13\% reduction in rice yields, those who are wealthier and more experienced in market transaction, and less constrained by access to credit, made up their income loss from agriculture by allocating 4.5-6 times more labor days (equivalent to 97 to 106 days per year) to non-agricultural activities, whereas the disadvantaged ones expanded the acreage of rice cultivation. These differential strategies adopted by these households resulted in widening income inequality.

Keywords: Climatic and Environmental Change, the Three Gorges Dam, Adaptation, Agricultural Production, Non-agricultural Activities

JEL Classification: O13 Q12 Q15

Suggested Citation

Chen, Ting and Liu, Chong and Ma, Sen, Environmental Change, Water Scarcity and Farmers' Differentiated Adaptations: Evidence from the Three Gorges Dam (February 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3789033 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3789033

Ting Chen (Contact Author)

Hong Kong Baptist University - Department of Economics ( email )

WLB 518, 34 Renfrew Road
Kowloon Tong
Hong Kong, Hong Kong NA
Hong Kong

Chong Liu

Peking University ( email )

5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Sen Ma

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Economics ( email )

214 David Kinley Hall
1407 W. GREGORY
Urbana, IL Illinois 61801
United States

Jinan University - Institute for Economic and Social Research ( email )

601 West Whampoa Road
Tianhe District
Guangzhou, 510632
China

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