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Extreme Weather Events, Mortality, and Migration

Author

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  • Olivier Deschênes

    (University of California, Santa Barbara, and NBER)

  • Enrico Moretti

    (University of California, Berkeley, and NBER)

Abstract

We estimate the effect of extreme weather on life expectancy in the United States. Using high-frequency data, we find that both extreme heat and cold result in immediate increases in mortality. The increase in mortality following extreme heat appears mostly driven by near-term displacement, while the increase in mortality following extreme cold is long lasting. We estimate that the number of annual deaths attributable to cold temperature is 0.8% of average annual deaths in our sample. The longevity gains associated with mobility from the Northeast to the Southwest account for 4% to 7% of the total gains in life expectancy experienced by the U.S. population over the past thirty years. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Deschênes & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality, and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 659-681, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:91:y:2009:i:4:p:659-681
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Olivier Deschênes & Michael Greenstone, 2011. "Climate Change, Mortality, and Adaptation: Evidence from Annual Fluctuations in Weather in the US," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 152-185, October.
    2. Emily Oster, 2004. "Witchcraft, Weather and Economic Growth in Renaissance Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 215-228, Winter.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    4. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
    5. Eisenberg, D. & Warner, K.E., 2005. "Effects of snowfalls on motor vehicle collisions, injuries, and fatalities," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 95(1), pages 120-124.
    6. Costa, Dora L., 2003. "Understanding mid-life and older age mortality declines: evidence from Union Army veterans," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 175-192, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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