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Households and heat stress: estimating the distributional consequences of climate change

Author

Listed:
  • Park, Jisung
  • Bangalore, Mook
  • Hallegatte, Stephane
  • Sandhoefner, Evan

Abstract

Recent research documents the adverse causal impacts on health and productivity of extreme heat, which will worsen with climate change. In this paper, we assess the current distribution of heat exposure within countries, to explore possible distributional consequences of climate change through temperature. Combining survey data from 690,745 households across 52 countries with spatial data on climate, this paper suggests that the welfare impacts of added heat stress may be regressive within countries. We find: (1) a strong negative correlation between household wealth and warmer temperature in many hot countries; (2) a strong positive correlation between household wealth and warmer temperatures in many cold countries; and (3) that poorer individuals are more likely to work in occupations with greater exposure. While our analysis is descriptive rather than causal, our results suggest a larger vulnerability of poor people to heat extremes, and potentially significant distributional and poverty implications of climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Park, Jisung & Bangalore, Mook & Hallegatte, Stephane & Sandhoefner, Evan, 2018. "Households and heat stress: estimating the distributional consequences of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87547, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:87547
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/87547/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2014. "Temperature and the Allocation of Time: Implications for Climate Change," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Melissa Dell, 2010. "Productivity Differences between and within Countries," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 169-188, January.
    3. repec:wbk:wbpubs:26447 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. E. Somanathan & Rohini Somanathan & Anant Sudarsan & Meenu Tewari, 2014. "The Impact of Temperature on Productivity and Labor Supply: Evidence from Indian Manufacturing," Working Papers id:6308, eSocialSciences.
    5. Alan Barreca & Karen Clay & Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2016. "Adapting to Climate Change: The Remarkable Decline in the US Temperature-Mortality Relationship over the Twentieth Century," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 105-159.
    6. Sinha, Paramita & Caulkins, Martha L. & Cropper, Maureen L., 2018. "Household location decisions and the value of climate amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 608-637.
    7. Lucas W. Davis & Alan Fuchs & Paul Gertler, 2014. "Cash for Coolers: Evaluating a Large-Scale Appliance Replacement Program in Mexico," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 207-238, November.
    8. Francis Annan & Wolfram Schlenker, 2015. "Federal Crop Insurance and the Disincentive to Adapt to Extreme Heat," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 262-266, May.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua S. Goodman & Michael Hurwitz & Jisung Park & Jonathan Smith, 2018. "Heat and Learning," CESifo Working Paper Series 7291, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; exposure; heat stress; labor productivity; poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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