Climate and Global Poverty
Growing knowledge that the climate is changing has far outpaced our knowledge of how these changes might impact economic outcomes that we care about. Does climate change constitute one of the most important development challenges facing humanity over the next century, as is sometimes claimed, or is it a minor concern relative to other determinants of economic prosperity? Our proposed work will use modern econometric techniques and new data to quantify how poverty has responded to historical shifts in climate over the last half century, and use these estimates to inform projections of how future changes in climate could shape the number and location of the poor over thedecades to come. The goal is to begin to build a quantitative understanding of how much we should care about climate as a past and potential future determinant of global poverty, and to embed this research in an on-campus network of people working at the intersection of development and the environment – a network we propose to help assemble.