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Temperature and Human Capital in the Short and Long Run

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  • Joshua Graff Zivin
  • Solomon M. Hsiang
  • Matthew Neidell

Abstract

We provide the first estimates of the potential impact of climate change on cognitive performance and attainment, focusing on the impacts from both short-run weather and long-run climate. Exploiting the longitudinal structure of the NLSY79 and random fluctuations in weather across interviews, we identify the effect of temperature in models with child-specific fixed effects. We find that short-run changes in temperature lead to statistically significant decreases in cognitive performance on math (but not reading) beyond 26°C (78.8°F). In contrast, our long-run analysis, which relies upon long-difference and rich cross-sectional models, reveals an imprecisely estimated effect that is significantly smaller than the short-run relationship between climate and human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Graff Zivin & Solomon M. Hsiang & Matthew Neidell, 2018. "Temperature and Human Capital in the Short and Long Run," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 77-105.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/694177
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/694177
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rivers, Nicholas & Shaffer, Blake, 2018. "Stretching the Duck's Neck: The effect of climate change on future electricity demand," MPRA Paper 87309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Nilsson, William,, 2018. "School Dropouts and the Local Labor Markets: The Role of the Skills Structure of the Employment," Working Papers 2072/351583, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:col:000090:015697 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Xavier Pautrel, 2018. "Environmental policy and health in the presence of labor market imperfections," Working Papers halshs-01879558, HAL.
    5. Lucy Page & Stephen Sheppard, 2019. "Heat Stress: Ambient Temperature and Workplace Accidents in the US," Department of Economics Working Papers 2019-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    6. repec:eee:jeeman:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:185-196 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ha Trong Nguyen & Huong Thu Le & Luke B Connelly, 2018. "Rain, Rain, Go Away: Weather and children’s time allocation," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1801, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    8. Wilde, Joshua & Apouey, Bénédicte H. & Jung, Toni, 2017. "The effect of ambient temperature shocks during conception and early pregnancy on later life outcomes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 87-107.
    9. Dou, Xiaoya & Gray, Clark & Mueller, Valerie & Sheriff, Glen, 2016. "Labor adaptation to climate variability in Eastern Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1537, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Geoffrey Heal & Jisung Park, 2016. "Editor's Choice Reflections—Temperature Stress and the Direct Impact of Climate Change: A Review of an Emerging Literature," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(2), pages 347-362.
    11. Jo Thori Lind, 2019. "Spurious weather effects," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 322-354, March.
    12. repec:eee:jeeman:v:94:y:2019:i:c:p:236-253 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Mateo Salazar, 2017. "The Effects of Climate on Output per Worker: Evidence from the Manufacturing Industry in Colombia," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE, vol. 79(2), August.
    14. Popova, Olga & Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Tavares, José, 2019. "Extreme Temperature and Extreme Violence across Age and Gender: Evidence from Russia," GLO Discussion Paper Series 382, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    15. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Le, Huong Thu & Connelly, Luke B., 2019. "Weather and children’s time allocation," MPRA Paper 94442, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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