In an urbanizing world economy featuring thousands of cities, households and firms have strong incentives to make locational investments and self protection choices to reduce their exposure to new climate change induced risks. This pursuit of self interest reduces the costs imposed by climate change. This paper develops a dynamic compensating differentials model to explore how the “menu” offered by a system of cities insures us against emerging risks. Insights from urban economics offer a series of testable hypotheses concerning the economic incidence of spatially tied climate change risk.
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