Economy-wide impacts of climate change: a joint analysis for sea level rise and tourism

  • Andrea Bigano
  • Francesco Bosello
  • Roberto Roson
  • Richard S. J. Tol


While climate change impacts on human life have well defined and different origins, the interactions among the diverse impacts are not yet fully understood. Their final effects, however, especially those involving social-economic responses, are likely to play an important role. This paper is one of the first attempts to disentangle and highlight the role of these interactions. It focuses on the economic assessment of two specific climate change impacts: sea-level rise and changes in tourism flows. By using a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model the two impacts categories are first analysed separately and then jointly. Considered separately, in 2050, the forecasted 25 cm. of sea level rise imply a GDP loss ranging from (−) 0.1% in South East Asia to almost no loss in Canada, while redistribution of tourism flows – which in terms of arrivals favours Western Europe, Japan, Korea and Canada and penalises all the other world regions – triggers GDP losses ranging from (−) 0.5% in Small Island States to (−) 0.0004% in Canada. GDP gainers are Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, Middle East and South Asia. The impact of sea level rise and tourism were simulated jointly and the results compared with those of the two disjoint simulations. From a qualitative point of view, the joint effects are similar to the outcomes of the disjoint exercises; from a quantitative perspective, however, impact interaction does play a significant role. In six cases out of 16 there is a detectable (higher than 2% and peaking to 70%) difference between the sum of the outcomes in the disjoint simulation and the outcomes of the joint simulations. Moreover, the relative contribution of each single impact category has been disentangled from the final result. In the case under scrutiny, demand shocks induced by changes in tourism flows outweigh the supply-side shock induced by the loss of coastal land.


Climate change Sea level rise Tourism Computable general equilibrium models 

JEL Classification

C68 D58 Q25 



We had useful discussions about the topics of this paper with Maria Berrittella, Alvaro Calzadilla, Marco Lazzarin and Hom Pant. Financial support by EC-DG Research (ENSEMBLES project) and the Hamburg University Innovation Fund is gratefully acknowledged. All errors and opinions are ours.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Bigano
    • 1
    • 6
  • Francesco Bosello
    • 1
    • 7
  • Roberto Roson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard S. J. Tol
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Fondazione Eni Enrico MatteiVeniceItaly
  2. 2.Ca’Foscari University of VeniceVeniceItaly
  3. 3.Research unit Sustainability and Global ChangeHamburg University and Centre for Marine and Atmospheric ScienceHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Environmental StudiesVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Engineering and Public PolicyCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  6. 6.REF, Ricerche per l’Economia e la FinanzaMilanItaly
  7. 7.Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche Aziendali e Statistiche Università Statale di MilanoMilanItaly

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