Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Understanding the adaptation deficit: why are poor countries more vulnerable to climate events than rich countries?

Fankhauser, Samuel and McDermott, Thomas K. J. (2014) Understanding the adaptation deficit: why are poor countries more vulnerable to climate events than rich countries? Global Environmental Change, 27 (1). pp. 9-18. ISSN 0959-3780

[img]
Preview
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.04.014

Abstract

Poor countries are more heavily affected by extreme weather events and future climate change than rich countries. One of the reasons for this is the so-called adaptation deficit, that is, limits in the ability of poorer countries to adapt. This paper analyses the link between income and adaptation to climate events theoretically and empirically. We postulate that the adaptation deficit may be due to two factors: A demand effect, whereby the demand for the good “climate security” increases with income, and an efficiency effect, which works as a spill-over externality on the supply-side: Adaptation productivity in high-income countries is enhanced because of factors like better public services and stronger institutions. Using panel data from the Munich Re natural catastrophe database we find strong evidence for a demand effect for adaptation to two climate-related extreme events, tropical cyclones and floods. Evidence on the efficiency effect is more equivocal. There are some indications that adaptation in rich countries might be more efficient, but the evidence is far from conclusive. The implication for research is that better data, in particular on adaptation effort, need to be collected to understand adaptation efficiency. In terms of policy, we conclude that inclusive growth policies (which boost adaptation demand) should be an important component of international efforts to close the adaptation deficit.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/global-environmen...
Additional Information: © 2014 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Climate Change Economics and Policy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q56 - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounting; Environmental Equity
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Research centres and groups > Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP)
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 10:12
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2014 14:57
Funders: Global Green Growth Institute, Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/57620

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics