June 26, 2014

New Draft: Do Temperature Thresholds Threaten American Farmland?

New draft of the paper on agricultural thresholds presented at the 2014 ASSA meetings.

I will present this new draft at the World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists in Istanbul on Monday June 30 at 14:00.

Robert Mendelsohn and I do not find evidence of "thresholds" after which land values collapse in the East of the United States. We find instead evidence of adaptation to different climatic conditions.


It is widely known that temperatures have a hill-shaped effect on agriculture.  Some researchers argue that there is also a threshold effect, a temperature above which land values crash and crops fail. This paper uses flexible functional forms to estimate the effect of growing season temperature on American farmland values and crop yields. The paper finds evidence of the hill-shaped response function for both farmland value and crop yields. But there is no evidence of temperature thresholds whether temperature is measured at 3 hour intervals, daily, or for multiple days.