Effects of sea level rise in the United States and climate change perception in the United Kingdom

Novackova, Monika (2018) Effects of sea level rise in the United States and climate change perception in the United Kingdom. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis has three separate parts. In the first part I report the first ex post study of the economic impact of sea level rise. I apply two econometric approaches to estimate the past effects of sea level rise on the economy of the USA, viz. Barro type growth regressions adjusted for spatial patterns and a matching estimator. The unit of analysis is 3063 counties of the USA. I fit growth regressions for 13 time periods and I estimate numerous varieties for both growth regressions and matching estimator. Although there is some evidence that sea level rise has a positive effect on economic growth, in most specifications the estimated effects are insignificant. Therefore, I cannot confirm the implicit assumption of previous ex-ante studies, in particular that sea level rise has in general negative effect on economies.

In the second part I fit Ricardian regressions of agricultural land values for 2830 counties of the USA on past sea level rise, taking account of spatial autocorrelation and heteroscedasticity. I find a significant, hill-shaped relationship. Hence, the outcomes are mixed. Mild sea level rise increases, while more pronounced sea level rise causes land values to fall. The results are robust to a set of variations.

In the third part I explore an unprecedented dataset of almost 6,000 observations to identify main predictors of climate knowledge, climate risk perception and willingness to pay (WTP) for climate change mitigation. Among nearly 70 potential explanatory variables I detect the most important ones using a multisplit lasso estimator. Importantly, I test significance of individuals' preferences about time, risk and equity. The study is innovative as these behavioural characteristics were recorded by including experimental methods into a live sample survey. This unique way of data collection combines advantages of surveys and experiments. The most important predictors of environmental attitudes are numeracy, cognitive ability, inequity aversion and political and ideological world-view.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0079 Special topics, A-Z > HC0079.E5 Environmental policy and economic development. Sustainable development Including environmental economics
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 08:27
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2018 08:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76891

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