Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 3/09

A micro-econometric analysis of the impact of climate change on livestock management in South America

S. Niggol Seo
Basque Center for Climate Change, Bilbao, Spain


This paper examines the vulnerability of South American livestock management to climate change using the data collected in Argentina and Brazil, the world’s largest beef cattle exporters and consumers. We use a micro-econometric method to explain the choice of a livestock species and the value of the chosen species. The results indicate that famers substitute dairy cattle or crops for beef cattle if climate becomes hot under the CCC scenario. The beef cattle value would fall by 47% by 2060. With smaller offsetting gain in dairy cattle, the total value of livestock in South America is expected to fall by 42% half a century later. If farmers cannot switch species, the loss would increase to 47%. Under a mild and wet PCM scenario, farmers would switch to crops more often and the value of beef cattle value would decline slightly.

Keywords: climate change, livestock, beef cattle, micro-econometrics, South America

JEL: Q54

Vol. 48 (2009), No. 3: 265-282