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Long-run trend in agricultural yield and climatic factors in Europe

Paolo Agnolucci () and Vincenzo De Lipsis
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Paolo Agnolucci: University College London
Vincenzo De Lipsis: University College London

Climatic Change, 2020, vol. 159, issue 3, No 5, 385-405

Abstract: Abstract Reliable projections of crop production are an essential tool for the design of feasible policy plans to tackle food security and land allocation, and an accurate characterization of the long-run trend in crop yield is the key ingredient in such projections. We provide several contributions adding to our current understanding of the impact of climatic factors on crop yield. First of all, reflecting the complexity of agricultural systems and the time required for any change to diffuse, we show that crop yield in Europe has historically been characterized by a stochastic trend rather than the deterministic specifications normally used in the literature. Secondly, we found that, contrary to previous studies, the trend in crop yield has slowly changed across time rather than being affected by a single abrupt permanent change. Thirdly, we provide strong evidence that climatic factors have played a major role in shaping the long-run trajectory of crop yield over the decades, by influencing both the size and the statistical nature of the trend. In other words, climatic factors are important not only for the year-to-year fluctuations in crop yield but also for its path in the long-run. Finally, we find that, for most countries in this study, the trend in temperature is responsible for a reduction in the long-run growth rate of yield in wheat, whereas a small gain is produced in maize, except for Southern European countries.

Keywords: Kalman filter; State-space models; Climate change (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s10584-019-02622-3

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