Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Climate Change and Economic Growth: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Analysis for Egypt

Elshennawy, Abeer and Robinson, Sherman and Willenbockel, Dirk (2013): Climate Change and Economic Growth: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Analysis for Egypt.

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Abstract

Due to the high concentration of economic activity along the low-lying coastal zone of the Nile delta and its dependence on Nile river streamflow, Egypt's economy is highly exposed to adverse climate change. Adaptation planning requires a forward-looking assessment of climate change impacts on economic performance at economy-wide and sectoral level and a cost-benefit assessment of conceivable adaptation investments. This study develops a multisectoral intertemporal general equilibrium model with forward-looking agents, population growth and technical progress to analyse the long-run growth prospects of Egypt in a changing climate. Based on a review of existing estimates of climate change impacts on agricultural productivity, labor productivity and the potential losses due to sea-level rise for the country, the model is used to simulate the effects of climate change on aggregate consumption, investment and welfare up to 2050. Available cost estimates for adaptation investments are employed to explore adaptation strategies. On the methodological side, the present study overcomes the limitations of existing recursive-dynamic computable general models for climate change impact analysis by incorporating forward-looking expectations. Moreover, it extends the existing family of discrete-time intertemporal computable general equilibrium models to which our model belongs by incorporating population growth and technical progress. On the empirical side, the model is calibrated to a social accounting matrix that reflects the observed current structure of the Egyptian economy, and the climate change impact and adaptation scenarios are informed by a close review of existing quantitative estimates for the size order of impacts and the costs of adaptation measures. The simulation analysis suggests that in the absence of policy-led adaptation investments, real GDP towards the middle of the century will be nearly 10 percent lower than in a hypothetical baseline without climate change. A combination of adaptation measures, that include coastal protection investments for vulnerable sections along the low-lying Nile delta, support for changes in crop management practices and investments to raise irrigation efficiency, could reduce the GDP loss in 2050 to around 4 percent.

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