Do Economic Predictions of Damage from Climate Change Cause Policymakers to Focus on the Wrong Thing?

By Timothy S. Thomas

I have been computing various measures of the impact of climate change on agriculture for the last six years, in an effort to help donors, researchers, and policymakers anticipate what farmers would face and, as a result, be able to develop plans to help agriculture adapt to climate change. But I recently came to the realization that the measures I have been computing -- while important for many reasons -- actually lead the policymaker to potentially wrong conclusions about what policies and investment strategies to use in order to help farmers adapt. The trouble is that the kind of calculations I have been doing are similar to the calculations others throughout the world have been doing, so it is not simply a matter of me being wrong, but a matter of all of us thinking about the issue incorrectly.

Read more at the IFPRI Research Blog.