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

  • Olivier Deschênes
  • Michael Greenstone

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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.3.4.152
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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  1. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2002. "Changes in the Value of Life: 1940-1980," NBER Working Papers 9396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Air Quality, Infant Mortality, and the Clean Air Act of 1970," Working Papers 0406, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  3. Michael Greenstone & Justin Gallagher, 2005. "Does Hazardous Waste Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market and the Superfund Program," NBER Working Papers 11790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
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  7. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2004. "Using Mandated Speed Limits to Measure the Value of a Statistical Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S226-S267, February.
  8. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  9. Barreca, Alan I., 2012. "Climate change, humidity, and mortality in the United States," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 19-34.
  10. 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.
  11. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  12. 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.
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