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Abstract

Climate extremes, characterized by droughts and floods, have become one of the major constraints to sustainable improvement of rice productivity. Variety choice, considered as one of the main adaptation measures, could help farmers reduce yield loss resulting from these extremes. Based on a three-year panel survey of 1,080 Chinese rice farms in major rice producing provinces, we study the effect of adopting weather tolerant variety rice as a main adaptation measure against climate extremes. Taking into account the endogeneity of adoption behavior, we employ an endogenous switching regression to separately estimate the treatment effects of adoption for adopters and non-adopters. We find that farmers who adopted the new variety increased yield by 537 kg/ha (about 7%), compared with the counterfactual case of no-adoption. In contrast, the farmers who did not adopt, would increase rice yield by 272 kg/ha (about 4 %) if they adopted, much smaller than the adopters. However, adoption of new variety demands more knowledge, better education, more intensive management, and higher seed costs. As a policy implication, expansion of public extension services could help relax these restrictions.

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