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The productivity impact of climate change: Evidence from Australia's Millennium drought

Yu Sheng and Xinpeng Xu

Economic Modelling, 2019, vol. 76, issue C, 182-191

Abstract: The economic impact of climate change has usually been estimated based on changes in average weather condition and is often measured in terms of immediate loss of output or profit. Yet little is known about the impact of extreme weather event, in particular its impact on productivity in the medium to long term. Using Australia's Millennium drought as a case of extreme weather event and applying the synthetic control method, we show that severe droughts occurred between 2002 and 2010 has brought down agricultural total factor productivity by about 18 percent in Australia over the period, contributing significantly to the country's long-term slowdown of agricultural total factor productivity growth. Our results highlight the significance of productivity impact of extreme weather events that has been overlooked when accessing the economic impact of climate change.

Keywords: Climate change; Millennium drought; Extreme weather events; Total factor productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q10 Q15 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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