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Agricultural Economics
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 42  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 657 - 667

Climate change and Australia’s comparative advantage in broadacre agriculture

Todd Sanderson and Fredoun Z. Ahmadi-Esfahani    

Abstract: Australia has long been a major exporter of the products of broadacre agriculture, a production system well suited to the economic and climatic conditions of the country. Presumably, it holds a comparative advantage in these products, among which grain crops and grazing livestock predominate. However, the future plausibility of this proposition is sensitive to the projected impacts of climate change. This article develops a framework to quantify the future patterns of comparative advantage in broadacre agriculture, given the projections of several global climate models. We find empirical support for the conventional wisdom, and note substantial resilience and robustness in Australia's comparative advantage under a number of scenarios.

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