Edited by Ronaldo Seroa da Motta
Chapter 8: Technology, climate change,productivity and land use in Brazilian agriculture
8. Technology, climate change, productivity and land use in Brazilian agriculture Robert E. Evenson and Denisard C.O. Alves 8.1 INTRODUCTION The ‘Ricardian’ model of land productivity has been applied to Brazil by Sanghi et al. (1997) and Sanghi and Mendelsohn (2000). Since land productivity is associated with land use (that is, the use of land for crops, pasture and forestry) there is a natural extension for the Ricardian model to a land use analysis.1 The original application of the Ricardian model to land productivity did not explicitly consider spatial differences in technology. Implicitly the climate change estimates obtained assumed that the technology available to farmers at the time of the census observations would continue to be available during the climate change simulation period. Sanghi et al. (1997) and Sanghi and Mendelsohn (2000) examine how climate in different places of Brazil affects the net rent or value of farm land. Doing so enables them to account for both the direct impacts of climate on yields of different crops as well as the indirect substitution of different activities, introduction of different activities, and other potential adaptation to different climates. Using Brazilian municipio level data they estimate the effect of climatic variables and a variety of geographical, soil, economic and demographic factors to determine the intrinsic value of climate on farmland. Their analysis suggests that climate has a systematic impact upon agricultural rents and thus costs through temperature and precipitation. They also suggest that these effects tend to be very non-linear and quite...
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