Projections indicate a need to double global food production by the end of century. Production increases will ideally be achieved through intensification on current cropland due to a critical need to preserve remaining natural ecosystems. Global grain production has increased 3-fold in the last half century on relatively constant cropland largely due to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, but agriculture in many developing regions are still nutrient limited. In this study we use a set of process-based crop models to investigate the potential for nitrogen fertilizer intensification under climate change. Results illustrate that unabated climate change may make it impossible to double production by nitrogen fertilizer intensification alone in some developing regions.


Climate change mitigation by better information: evidence from housing market response to flooding

Flooding is America’s the most frequent and costliest natural disaster, which will become more severe as climate change intensifies. With more than half of the total housing stock in the coastal and riverine area, a frequent and devastating floods have a potential to disrupt the US housing market. While beefing up the protection, for instance, building stronger levees, can be deemed a solution, it costs huge amount of money and more importantly can induce moral hazard. In this paper, I study if providing better information can be a cost-effective alternative.

In the first part of the paper, I estimate the extent of the information friction. By exploiting a home seller disclosure requirement policy implementation and a flood map update, which all happened in 1996 in Philadelphia metropolitan area, I estimate the effect of the policy on the flood insurance take up rate and on the housing price. Next, I test whether better provision of information leads to a smoother housing market and flood insurance response to the natural disasters by using the flood happened in the area in 1999. It is worth noting that Philadelphia metropolitan area is a perfect setting to study these questions. First, it is one of the nation’s major hotspots when it comes to flooding. Second, Philadelphia is a border city between PA and NJ, which allows implementing a triple difference design. Specifically, home buyers on PA side could easily learn whether a property was located on the high flood risk zone or not while NJ buyers had to use their best knowledge (“buyers beware”).

Earlier studies provided explanations for a sharp increase in the NFIP take-up rate and volatile price change in housing market following a major flooding events. Gallagher (2014), for instance, claimed that flood insurance take-up rate hike is conforming with Bayesian updating under full information whereas Bin and Landry (2013) attributed housing price change to the availability bias. This paper adds an alternative explanation by showing that imperfect information matters.


What causes power outages in India? Evidence of supply side constraints