Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Wallace E. Tyner

Committee Chair

Wallace E. Tyner

Committee Member 1

Gerald E. Shively

Committee Member 2

Otto C. Doering III

Committee Member 3

Keith Cherkauer


The empirical analysis in this dissertation comprises two essays investigating the impacts of climate change on agriculture in Morocco, with an emphasis on climate uncertainty and robust adaptation.^ The first essay in Chapter 4 provides estimates of economic impacts of climate change, and estimates on the extent to which the current Moroccan agricultural development and investment strategy, the Plan Maroc Vert (PMV), could help in agricultural adaptation to climate change and uncertainty.^ We simulated three cases. First, we examined the impacts of PMV on the economy in the absence of climate change and found that it could provide about a 2.4% increase in GDP if the targets could be achieved. Subsequently, we did a separate simulation of the impacts of climate change on the Moroccan economy with no PMV (CC-Only) and found that there would be negative GDP impacts ranging between -0.5% and -3% depending on the climate scenario under the without CO2 case. Including CO2 fertilization effects induces a slight change in the distribution of impacts, which range from -1.4% to +0.3%. Finally, we evaluated the extent to which PMV could help mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change, and we found that the gain was quite small ranging between +0.02% and +0.04%.^ The ability of the PMV strategy to mitigate the negative effects of climate change is limited at best, if non-existent. This is due to the scope of the PMV simulations limited to the strategic agricultural crop sectors in Morocco, which jointly represent no more than 35% of aggregate agricultural GDP; whereas the rest of the sectors account for 65%. Additionally, the likelihood of meeting the PMV productivity targets is low in light of our benchmark analysis comparing productivity prior to and after the adoption of GMO technologies.^ The second essay examines the interaction of globalization through trade liberalization and climate change. Our hypothesis was that the more trade is liberalized, the higher the potential to compensate for losses due to climate change.^ Our findings suggest that at the global level, our hypothesis is verified. World welfare gains are highest under a multilateral trade liberalization scenario, which induces a total offset of climate change welfare losses. However, under partial trade liberalization, the welfare gains become very small in comparison with the climate change impacts.^ At the regional level, the results are more nuanced and our hypothesis does not hold for all regions. For instance, and focusing on Morocco as a case study, the net welfare impacts associated with trade liberalization are negative on average. But under the multilateral trade liberalization scenario, Morocco experiences net welfare gains under the SRES A1B and B1, which respectively reached US$ +23 million and US$ +16 million. Although trade liberalization induces net allocative efficiency gains under most scenarios, the large negative terms of trade effects offset most of the gains.