Planning for the Future in the Face of Climate Change Uncertainty: Three Econometric Techniques Applied to the Challenges Facing Energy, Water, and Recreation Demand

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Virginia Tech

This dissertation consists of three separate research papers. Each paper uses a different econometric technique to analyze a problem relating to the social aspects of climate change. The first paper investigates a potential adaptive strategy to counteract warming stream waters through stream intervention projects. Using novel non-parametric matching estimation techniques it is shown that these intervention projects have positive effects on homeowners that are near to the stream but downstream of the project site. The second paper uses Bayesian econometric techniques to analyze survey data regarding the welfare losses experienced as a result of power outages across Europe. This paper shows how the severity and spatial distribution of these welfare losses will change as the climate warms, which enables the current electricity grid expansion taking place in Europe to account for these effects of climate change. The third paper uses Classical econometric techniques to estimate the effect of temperature on visitor recreation choices around Lake Tahoe. It is then shown that under climate scenarios the demand for beach and water access at Lake Tahoe will greatly increase, which suggests that lake managers begin to plan regulations and build infrastructure to account for this demand increase.

Environmental Economics, Energy Economics, Climate Change Economics, Applied Econometrics