Open Access

Climate, adaptation, and the value of forestland: A national Ricardian analysis of the United States

Christopher Mihiar and David J. Lewis


This study estimates an econometric Ricardian model of the effects of climate on forestry using a novel national dataset of county-level net economic returns to forestland. Results show that climate change projections to 2050 will increase forest net returns on the middle latitudes of eastern U.S. timberland. We quantify the value of extensive margin adaptation to climate change by separately estimating climate’s impact on 11 distinct forest types. We find that approximately 69% of the positive climate change impact on eastern U.S. forestry arises from the value of extensive margin adaptation. Climate change impacts in the western U.S. are inconclusive.

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