Geography, institutions and development: a review of the long-run impacts of climate change


The links among climate change, economic growth and economic development have gained increasing attention over recent years in both the academic and policy literature. However, most of the existing literature has tended to focus on direct, short-run effects of climate change on the economy, for example, due to extreme weather events and changes in agricultural growing conditions. In this paper, we review potential effects of climate change on the prospects for long-run economic development. These effects might operate directly, via the role of geography (including climate) as a fundamental determinant of relative prosperity, or indirectly by modifying the environmental context in which political and economic institutions evolve. We consider potential mechanisms from climate change to long-run economic development that have been relatively neglected to date, including, for instance, effects on the distribution of income and political power. We conclude with some suggestions for areas of future research.

David Castells-Quintanaa, Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Thomas K.J. McDermott
In: Climate and Development, Virtual Special Issue for Adaptation Futures 2016.
DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2016.1167665