Space-time discounting in climate change adaptation

Seth D. Baum, William E. Easterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Discounting is traditionally interpreted as the technique for comparing the values of costs and benefits which occur at different points in time. It endeavors to incorporate how humans trade off values to be received in the future versus value received immediately into economic analysis. Interpreted as such, discounting neglects important spatial influences on how values are compared, thereby hindering cost-benefit analyses of climate change adaptation. In this article, we present new theory on space-time discounting and use it to analyze aspects of how humans adapt to climate change. Three climate change adaptation cases are considered. First, analysis of crop indemnity payments to farmers shows that failure to discount across space and time yields inaccurate evaluations of adaptation projects. Second, adaptation efforts of the Commonwealth of Nations show irregular patterns of international cooperation that suggest spatial discounting of adaptation which are not found in temporal discounting. Third, the nexus between climate change, migration, and conflict shows how various forms of space-time discounting can influence whether climate change and migration will lead to conflict. Collectively, these cases demonstrate the analytical power of the space-time discounting theory and also show how the complexity of climate change adaptation can challenge and strengthen this theory. Finally, this article's analysis demonstrates that proper discounting must include space as well as time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-609
Number of pages19
JournalMitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 16 2010

Fingerprint

climate change
Commonwealth of Nations
international cooperation
economic analysis
trade-off
climate change adaptation
crop
cost
analysis
conflict
evaluation
cost-benefit
indemnity
project

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology

Cite this

@article{7dd1fe3271ba4d979ff17b593b763e5c,
title = "Space-time discounting in climate change adaptation",
abstract = "Discounting is traditionally interpreted as the technique for comparing the values of costs and benefits which occur at different points in time. It endeavors to incorporate how humans trade off values to be received in the future versus value received immediately into economic analysis. Interpreted as such, discounting neglects important spatial influences on how values are compared, thereby hindering cost-benefit analyses of climate change adaptation. In this article, we present new theory on space-time discounting and use it to analyze aspects of how humans adapt to climate change. Three climate change adaptation cases are considered. First, analysis of crop indemnity payments to farmers shows that failure to discount across space and time yields inaccurate evaluations of adaptation projects. Second, adaptation efforts of the Commonwealth of Nations show irregular patterns of international cooperation that suggest spatial discounting of adaptation which are not found in temporal discounting. Third, the nexus between climate change, migration, and conflict shows how various forms of space-time discounting can influence whether climate change and migration will lead to conflict. Collectively, these cases demonstrate the analytical power of the space-time discounting theory and also show how the complexity of climate change adaptation can challenge and strengthen this theory. Finally, this article's analysis demonstrates that proper discounting must include space as well as time.",
author = "Baum, {Seth D.} and Easterling, {William E.}",
year = "2010",
month = "6",
day = "16",
doi = "10.1007/s11027-010-9239-9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
pages = "591--609",
journal = "Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change",
issn = "1381-2386",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "6",

}

Space-time discounting in climate change adaptation. / Baum, Seth D.; Easterling, William E.

In: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Vol. 15, No. 6, 16.06.2010, p. 591-609.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Space-time discounting in climate change adaptation

AU - Baum, Seth D.

AU - Easterling, William E.

PY - 2010/6/16

Y1 - 2010/6/16

N2 - Discounting is traditionally interpreted as the technique for comparing the values of costs and benefits which occur at different points in time. It endeavors to incorporate how humans trade off values to be received in the future versus value received immediately into economic analysis. Interpreted as such, discounting neglects important spatial influences on how values are compared, thereby hindering cost-benefit analyses of climate change adaptation. In this article, we present new theory on space-time discounting and use it to analyze aspects of how humans adapt to climate change. Three climate change adaptation cases are considered. First, analysis of crop indemnity payments to farmers shows that failure to discount across space and time yields inaccurate evaluations of adaptation projects. Second, adaptation efforts of the Commonwealth of Nations show irregular patterns of international cooperation that suggest spatial discounting of adaptation which are not found in temporal discounting. Third, the nexus between climate change, migration, and conflict shows how various forms of space-time discounting can influence whether climate change and migration will lead to conflict. Collectively, these cases demonstrate the analytical power of the space-time discounting theory and also show how the complexity of climate change adaptation can challenge and strengthen this theory. Finally, this article's analysis demonstrates that proper discounting must include space as well as time.

AB - Discounting is traditionally interpreted as the technique for comparing the values of costs and benefits which occur at different points in time. It endeavors to incorporate how humans trade off values to be received in the future versus value received immediately into economic analysis. Interpreted as such, discounting neglects important spatial influences on how values are compared, thereby hindering cost-benefit analyses of climate change adaptation. In this article, we present new theory on space-time discounting and use it to analyze aspects of how humans adapt to climate change. Three climate change adaptation cases are considered. First, analysis of crop indemnity payments to farmers shows that failure to discount across space and time yields inaccurate evaluations of adaptation projects. Second, adaptation efforts of the Commonwealth of Nations show irregular patterns of international cooperation that suggest spatial discounting of adaptation which are not found in temporal discounting. Third, the nexus between climate change, migration, and conflict shows how various forms of space-time discounting can influence whether climate change and migration will lead to conflict. Collectively, these cases demonstrate the analytical power of the space-time discounting theory and also show how the complexity of climate change adaptation can challenge and strengthen this theory. Finally, this article's analysis demonstrates that proper discounting must include space as well as time.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77954424438&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77954424438&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11027-010-9239-9

DO - 10.1007/s11027-010-9239-9

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:77954424438

VL - 15

SP - 591

EP - 609

JO - Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

JF - Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

SN - 1381-2386

IS - 6

ER -