Economic Modeling of Climate Change Adaptation: Case Studies for Ethiopia, Mozambique and Ghana

It is now widely recognised that low-income countries in tropical and sub-tropical regions will be disproportionally affected by the adverse impacts of climate change. The combination of already fragile environments, dominance of climate-sensitive sectors in economic activity, and low autonomous adaptive capacity in these regions implies a high vulnerability to the harmful effects of global warming on agricultural production and food security, water resources, human health, physical infrastructure and ecosystems.

Recent authoritative scientific assessments emphasise that, even under the most optimistic assumptions about the success of future global mitigation action, an acceleration of adaptation efforts in developing countries over the next decades is essential to build resilience and reduce damage costs. It is also clear that these countries are heterogeneous, with different levels of economic development and structural characteristics. Analysis of the effectiveness of different adaptation strategies for such a variety of countries requires a comparative approach, exploring key country characteristics that are important in the design of effective adaptation strategies.

This project involves using a case-study approach to: (1) develop an economywide modeling framework that can provide the basis for comparative analysis of climate change adaptation strategies, including infrastructure investment strategies; (2) link the economic models to climate change impact models that will include effects on water systems, agriculture, and energy; and (3) apply the framework to three countries in Africa: Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Ghana. Parallel projects at the World Bank will seek to apply the methodology to other countries (e.g. Bolivia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam).

Key contact

Photo of Sherman Robinson


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Photo of Dirk Willenbockel

T: +44 (0)1273 915700


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A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis of Adaptation to Climate Change in Ethiopia

Review of Development Economics 16.3 (2014)
Robinson, S.; Willenbockel, D. and Strzepek, K.

Ethiopia's Growth Prospects in A Changing Climate: A Stochastic General Equilibrium Approach

Global Environmental Change 21.2 (2011)
Arndt, C.; Robinson, S. and Willenbockel, D.

Partner researchers

Kenneth Strzepek
Finn Tarp
James Thurlow
Project Dates:
April 2009 - February 2010
Project Status:
World Bank Group
Research Themes / Programmes:
Climate Change