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Climate change effects and agriculture in Italy: a stochastic frontier analysis at regional level

Auci, Sabrina and Vignani, Donatella (2014): Climate change effects and agriculture in Italy: a stochastic frontier analysis at regional level.

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Abstract

Climate changes, associated to atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases, could alter level of temperature at the surface, rainfalls and regional water supplies. There are many areas of the Earth that will cope with a rapid increasing of warming at the surface and with an extremization of weather conditions. Although many economic sectors are influenced, agriculture is the most susceptible as weather heavily affects crop production trends, yield variability and reduction of areas suitable to be cultivated. Climate change effects represent a “challenge” that European agriculture has to face in the immediate future. The aim of our work is to analyze the economic impacts of climate change on agricultural sector in Italy at regional scale (NUTS2) in the light of mitigation policies undertaken by Italy in accordance with the commitments made by the EU Policy in the struggle against climate change. Using the stochastic frontier approach, we investigate on the Italian Regions efficiency in the period 2000-2010. Considering that inefficiency could be influenced by two main meteorological factors – rainfall and minimum temperature– we find that rainfall variable has a positive impact on efficiency while minimum temperature variable reduces the efficiency of harvested production.

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