NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Incorporating Climate Uncertainty into Estimates of Climate Change Impacts, with Applications to U.S. and African Agriculture

Marshall Burke, John Dykema, David Lobell, Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath

NBER Working Paper No. 17092
Issued in May 2011
NBER Program(s):   EEE

A growing body of economics research projects the effects of global climate change on economic outcomes. Climate scientists often criticize these articles because nearly all ignore the well-established uncertainty in future temperature and rainfall changes, and therefore appear likely to have downward biased standard errors and potentially misleading point estimates. This paper incorporates climate uncertainty into estimates of climate change impacts on U.S. agriculture. Accounting for climate uncertainty leads to a much wider range of projected impacts on agricultural profits, with the 95% confidence interval featuring drops of between 17% to 88%. An application to African agriculture yields similar results.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17092

Incorporating climate uncertainty into estimates of climate change impacts” (co-authors Marshall Burke, John Dykema, David Lobell, Shanker Satyanath), forthcoming Review of Economics and Statistics.

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