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No matter how it is measured, income declines with global warming

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  • Ng, Pin
  • Zhao, Xiaobing
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    Abstract

    The contemporaneous relationship between temperature and income is important because it enables economists to estimate the economic impact of global warming without assuming a structural model. Until recently, empirical evidence generally suggests that there is a negative relationship between temperature and income, and, therefore, global warming has an adverse impact on economic activity. However, Nordhaus (2006) argues that the temperature-income relationship depends on how income is measured. We show in this paper that the results of Nordhaus (2006) may be due to an omitted-variable problem. Based on a well-motivated temperature-income model, we find that the relationship between temperature and income is not dependent on income measurement. Our regression results show that the adverse impact of an increase of 1 °C in temperature can be as much as a 3% decrease in total income for the G-7 nations. Therefore, our results suggest an aggressive climate mitigation policy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 963-970

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:5:p:963-970

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Temperature Income Global warming Quantile regression;

    References

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    1. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Temperature and Income: Reconciling New Cross-Sectional and Panel Estimates," NBER Working Papers 14680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    4. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change, Part II. Dynamic Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(2), pages 135-160, February.
    5. Ram, Rati, 1997. "Tropics and economic development: An empirical investigation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1443-1452, September.
    6. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2008. "Climate Change and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 14132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    8. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
    9. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," Working Papers 15, Center for Global Development.
    10. John Horowitz, 2009. "The Income–Temperature Relationship in a Cross-Section of Countries and its Implications for Predicting the Effects of Global Warming," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(4), pages 475-493, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.

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