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Temperature, Aggregate Risk, and Expected Returns

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  • Ravi Bansal
  • Marcelo Ochoa

Abstract

In this paper we show that temperature is an aggregate risk factor that adversely affects economic growth. Our argument is based on evidence from global capital markets which shows that the covariance between country equity returns and temperature (i.e., temperature betas) contains sharp information about the cross-country risk premium; countries closer to the Equator carry a positive temperature risk premium which decreases as one moves farther away from the Equator. The differences in temperature betas mirror exposures to aggregate growth rate risk, which we show is negatively impacted by temperature shocks. That is, portfolios with larger exposure to risk from aggregate growth also have larger temperature betas; hence, a larger risk premium. We further show that increases in global temperature have a negative impact on economic growth in countries closer to the Equator, while its impact is negligible in countries at high latitudes. Consistent with this evidence, we show that there is a parallel between a country's distance to the Equator and the economy's dependence on climate sensitive sectors; in countries closer to the Equator industries with a high exposure to temperature are more prevalent. We provide a Long-Run Risks based model that quantitatively accounts for cross-sectional differences in temperature betas, its link to expected returns, and the connection between aggregate growth and temperature risks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17575.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17575

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  1. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
  2. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1481-1509, 08.
  3. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2006. "Equilibrium Yield Curves," NBER Working Papers 12609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Equilibrium Yield Curves," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 389-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Harjoat S. Bhamra & Lars-Alexander Kuehn & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2010. "The Levered Equity Risk Premium and Credit Spreads: A Unified Framework," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(2), pages 645-703, February.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ravi Bansal & Robert F. Dittmar & Christian T. Lundblad, 2005. "Consumption, Dividends, and the Cross Section of Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1639-1672, 08.
  7. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars & Moretti, Enrico, 2005. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," Working Paper Series rwp05-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  8. Lars Peter Hansen & John C. Heaton & Nan Li, 2008. "Consumption Strikes Back? Measuring Long-Run Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 260-302, 04.
  9. Crocker, Thomas D & Horst, Robert L, Jr, 1981. "Hours of Work, Labor Productivity, and Environmental Conditions: A Case Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 361-68, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Rob Aalbers, 2013. "Optimal Discount Rates for Investments in Mitigation and Adaptation," CPB Discussion Paper 257, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. Ravi Bansal & Marcelo Ochoa, 2011. "Welfare Costs of Long-Run Temperature Shifts," NBER Working Papers 17574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mutascu, Mihai, 2012. "Influence of clime conditions on tax revenues," MPRA Paper 40324, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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