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Climate Change, Mortality, and Adaptation: Evidence from Annual Fluctuations in Weather in the US

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  • Olivier Desch�nes
  • Michael Greenstone

Abstract

Using random year-to-year variation in temperature, we document the relationship between daily temperatures and annual mortality rates and daily temperatures and annual residential energy consumption. Both relationships exhibit nonlinearities, with significant increases at the extremes of the temperature distribution. The application of these results to "business as usual" climate predictions indicates that by the end of the century climate change will lead to increases of 3 percent in the age-adjusted mortality rate and 11 percent in annual residential energy consumption. These estimates likely overstate the long-run costs, because climate change will unfold gradually allowing individuals to engage in a wider set of adaptations. (JEL I12, Q41, Q54)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 152-85

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:152-85

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.4.152
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  1. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1999. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," NBER Working Papers 7442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2004. "Changes in the Value of Life, 1940--1980," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 159-180, 09.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2002. "Using Mandated Speed Limits to Measure the Value of a Statistical Life," NBER Working Papers 9094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan Barreca, 2009. "Climate Change, Humidity, and Mortality in the United States," Working Papers 0906, Tulane University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
  5. Harrington, Winston & Portney, Paul R., 1987. "Valuing the benefits of health and safety regulation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 101-112, July.
  6. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
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