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GTAP Resource #4238

"Validating predicted global land use changes in the EPPA model"
by Gurgel, Angelo, Elodie Blanc, John Reilly and Sergey Paltsev

Historical validation of global economic models can offer an valuable laboratory for discriminating amongst alternative specifications of key processes. In this paper, we investigate land use changes at global scale using a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) framework. More specifically, we test three alternative structural representations of the economic processes governing land use transitions. Land use changes are modeled assuming that economic agents are concerned with the choice of the best use in order to maximize its profits and need to cover explicitly the costs of conversion from one use type to another, but the underlying assumptions about the conversion costs change with the approach. The first approach considers only the pure costs of conversion in the land use decision. The second is calibrated based on the observed land supply response from past decades. The last one explicitly considers environmental services used by consumers related to recreational activities as opportunity costs to convert natural land.
These 3 approaches are tested within the contest of the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model (Paltsev et al., 2005) and compared with historical data for the 1997 - 2010 period. The focus is on broad land use categories, including cropland, pastures, and the deforestation of natural forest areas. We also perform sensitivity tests to illustrate the importance of several key parameters necessary to represent land use change phenomena. We then discuss important aspects affecting the modeling validation and uncertainty in data and modeling strategies, as the temporal horizon of the equilibrium in CGE modeling and some recent changes in land use trends that are usually incorporated in the models a posteriori when some confidence is acquired in the persistency of such changes.
EPPA is a CGE model with significant detail on the energy sector and on land use (Paltsev et al., 2005, Gurgel et al. 2007) widel...

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: GTAP Application
Status: Not published
Date: 2013
Version: 1
Created: Gurgel, A. (4/15/2013)
Updated: Batta, G. (5/8/2013)
Visits: 1,465
- Model validation and sensitivity analysis
- Land use

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