Climatic Conditions and Productivity : An Impact Evaluation in Pre-industrial England
In this paper, we bridge economic data and climatic time series to assess the vulnerability of a pre-industrial economy to changes in climatic conditions. We propose an economic model to extract a measure of total productivity from English data (real wages and land rents) in the pre-industrial period. This measure of total productivity is then related to temperatures and precipitations. We find that lower (respectively higher) than average precipitations (respectively temperatures) enhance productivity. Further, temperatures have non-linear effects on productivity: large temperature variations lower productivity. Quantitatively, a permanent two degree rise in temperatures lowers the level of productivity by more than 22%, and production by more than 26%. This historical impact evaluation may serve as an informative benchmark for currently under-developed economies in front of the upcoming climatic change
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