From beef cattle to sheep under global warming? An analysis of adaptation by livestock species choice in South America Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper examines how South American farmers' choices of livestock species vary across the range of climate and in turn infer from them as to what would happen under climate changes. We examine the choice of five primary species using a multinomial logit model with and without climate variability measures based on 1300 livestock farm surveys in seven countries. The results indicate that climate variables are highly significant determinants of primary species choice after controlling for soils, geography, household characteristics, and country fixed effects. We find the probability of adopting any livestock increases with warming, but decreases when it becomes too wet. The impacts of climate change would vary by species and climate scenarios. For example, under a hot and dry CCC scenario by 2060, beef cattle decrease by 3.2%, dairy cattle by 2.3%, pigs by 0.5%, and chickens by 0.9%, which is offset by a large increase in sheep by 7%. These adaptive changes vary again by country. Large changes are observed in the Andean countries. Under the hot dry scenario, dairy cattle increase in Uruguay and Argentina, but decrease elsewhere. The increase in sheep occurs mostly in the Andes mountain countries such as Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Under a milder and wetter scenario, beef cattle choice declines in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, but increases in Argentina and Chile. Sheep increase in Colombia and Venezuela, but decrease in the high mountains of Chile where chickens are chosen more frequently. 2010 Elsevier B.V.

published proceedings

  • Ecological Economics

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Seo, S. N., McCarl, B. A., & Mendelsohn, R.

citation count

  • 70

complete list of authors

  • Seo, S Niggol||McCarl, Bruce A||Mendelsohn, Robert

publication date

  • October 2010