Simulating the Spatial Distribution of Population and Emissions to 2100
by Asadoorian, M.O. (May 2005)
Joint Program Report Series, 18 pages, 2005
(Superseded by Reprint 2008-10)
Urbanization and economic development have important implications for many environmental processes including global climate change. Although there is evidence that urbanization depends endogenously on economic variables, long-term forecasts of the spatial distribution of population are often made exogenously and independent of economic conditions. A beta distribution for individual countries/regions is estimated to describe the geographical distribution of population using a 1 ° by 1° latitude-longitude global population data set. Cross-sectional country/regional data are then used to estimate an empirical relationship between parameters of the beta distribution and macroeconomic variables as they vary among countries/regions. This conditional beta distribution allows the simulation of a changing distribution of population, including the growth of urban areas, driven by economic forecasts until the year 2100.
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