Current Research

Massetti, E. and R. Mendelsohn. 2016. "Measuring Climate Adaptation: Methods and Evidence."

Abstract: This paper examines methods to measure climate adaptation and discusses the results of this empirical evidence. The primary methods are cross sectional analysis and simulations. The results suggest that adaptation is effective at eliminating a large fraction of potential climate damage. A great deal of the adaptation will likely be incremental and reactive, keeping on top of climate as it changes.  Private actors have their own motivation to adapt. However, governments are needed to keep markets efficient and to support collective adaptations, especially in the water, coastal defense, health, and conservation sectors.


Bozzola, M., E. Massetti, R. Mendelsohn and F. Capitanio. 2016. “A Ricardian Analysis of the Impact of Climate Change on Italian Agriculture.”


Massetti, E. 2016.  "How do heat waves, cold waves, droughts, hail and tornadoes affect US agriculture?"

Abstract: We estimate the impact of extreme events on corn and soybeans yields, and on agricultural land values in the Eastern United States. We find the most harmful event is a severe drought but that cold waves, heat waves, and storms all reduce both corn and soybean yields. Over 80% of the damage from extreme events is caused by droughts and cold waves with heat waves causing only 6% of the damage. Including extreme events in a panel model of weather alters how temperature affects yields, making cold temperature more harmful and hot temperatures less harmful. Extreme events have no effect on farmland values probably because American farmers are buffered from extreme events by subsidized public crop insurance.


Cattaneo, C. and E. Massetti. 2015. “Climate and Migration in Rural Ghana and Nigeria.”

Abstract: Climate change is expected to severely affect people’s livelihoods through, among others, rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns. Here we show that average temperature and precipitations significantly affect migration decisions of farm households in Ghana and Nigeria. We find that farmers that live in the least favorable climates for agriculture have the lowest propensity to migrate among all farm households. As climatic conditions worsen, farm households are likely to migrate less. Our result are consistent with the widely accepted conclusions of two large bodies of literature which have been only marginally connected before. Many migration studies suggest that lower incomes and lower assets reduce migration rates in developing countries. There is also general agreement that climate change will reduce agricultural productivity in low-latitude developing countries. Taken together, these two streams of literature, lead to assume that climate change, especially in areas that will become less hospitable but not uninhabitable, could reduce migration rates. In the literature this is known as the environmental-capital hypothesis, whereby increased productivity due to better conditions provides the capital to finance costly migration, while a worsening in the climate could be associated with lower chances of migration.


Massetti, E. 2016. “Investments in Climate Change Mitigation: Evidence from 300 IAMs Scenarios.”


Massetti, E.. 2015.“Chaos in Climate Change Impact Estimates.”

Abstract: Global Circulation Models incorporate chaotic dynamics to reflect real-world weather patterns. This implies that extremely small perturbations of the climate system may generate very different weather patterns. Here I show that the SRES climate change scenarios generated by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) - ubiquitous in the impact literature - display strong chaotic dynamics at regional and sub-regional level, at least until 2065. Chaos is triggered by changes to historic forcing in the year 2000 to reflect different emissions trajectories. This suggests that large uncertainty exists on how to link local climate change and global forcing. Furthermore,  short- and mid-term differences in local climate change across different SRES emission scenarios reflect chaotic dynamics rather than different forcing patterns. I show that the "chaos" in the climate scenarios generates a "chaotic" relationship between exogenous forcing and local economic impacts. "Perturbed exogenous forcing" model ensemble would resolve this uncertainty.


Supplementary material
Maps of 2011-2030 temperature anomalies for the US
Maps of 2046-2065 temperature anomalies for the US
Maps of 2011-2030 precipitations anomalies for the US
Maps of 2046-2065 precipitations anomalies for the US
Impacts of climate change at county level in the US
ppt presentation