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Long-Term Macroeconomic Effects of Climate Change: A Cross-Country Analysis


  • Matthew E Khan

    (Department of Economics, University of Southern California)

  • Kamiar Mohaddes

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge)

  • Ryan N.C. Ng

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge)

  • Hashem Pesaran

    (University of Southern California and Trinity College)

  • Mehdi Raisse



We study the long-term impact of climate change on economic activity across countries, using a stochastic growth model where labor productivity is affected by country-specific climate variables—defined as deviations of temperature and precipitation from their historical norms. Using a panel data set of 174 countries over the years 1960 to 2014, we find that per-capita real output growth is adversely affected by persistent changes in the temperature above or below its historical norm, but we do not obtain any statistically significant effects for changes in precipitation. Our counterfactual analysis suggests that a persistent increase in average global temperature by 0.04°C per year, in the absence of mitigation policies, reduces world real GDP per capita by more than 7 percent by 2100. On the other hand, abiding by the Paris Agreement, thereby limiting the temperature increase to 0.01°C per annum, reduces the loss substantially to about 1 percent. These effects vary significantly across countries depending on the pace of temperature increases and variability of climate conditions. We also provide supplementary evidence using data on a sample of 48 U.S. states between 1963 and 2016, and show that climate change has a long-lasting adverse impact on real output in various states and economic sectors, and on labor productivity and employment.
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  • Matthew E Khan & Kamiar Mohaddes & Ryan N.C. Ng & Hashem Pesaran & Mehdi Raisse, 2019. "Long-Term Macroeconomic Effects of Climate Change: A Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers EPRG1925, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:enp:wpaper:eprg1925

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    1. Cécile Couharde & Olivier Damette & Rémi Generoso & Kamiar Mohaddes, 2019. "The Growth Effects of El Niño and La Niña: Local Weather Conditions Matter," CAMA Working Papers 2019-82, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Monica Billio & Roberto Casarin & Enrica De Cian & Malcolm Mistry & Anthony Osuntuyi, 2020. "The impact of Climate on Economic and Financial Cycles: A Markov-switching Panel Approach," Papers 2012.14693,
    3. Esra KADANALI & Omer YALCINKAYA, 2020. "Effects of Climate Change on Economic Growth: Evidence from 20 Biggest Economies of the World," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 93-118, September.
    4. Richard S.J. Tol, 2020. "The Economic Impact of Weather and Climate," Video Library 2094, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    5. Rudik, Ivan & Lyn, Gary & Tan, Weiliang & Ortiz-Bobea, Ariel, 2021. "Heterogeneity and Market Adaptation to Climate Change in Dynamic-Spatial Equilibrium," SocArXiv usghb, Center for Open Science.
    6. Holtermann, Linus & Rische, Marie-Christin, 2020. "The Subnational Effect of Temperature on Economic Production: A Disaggregated Analysis in European Regions," MPRA Paper 104606, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Mohaddes, Kamiar & Williams, Rhys J., 2020. "The adaptive investment effect: Evidence from Chinese provinces," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    8. Mr. Serhan Cevik & Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, 2020. "Perfect Storm: Climate Change and Tourism," IMF Working Papers 2020/243, International Monetary Fund.
    9. John Beirne & Nuobu Renzhi & Ulrich Volz, 2021. "Bracing for the Typhoon: Climate change and sovereign risk in Southeast Asia," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 537-551, May.
    10. Channing Arndt & Chris Loewald & Konstantin Makrelov, 2020. "Climate change and its implications for central banks in emerging and developing economies," Working Papers 10001, South African Reserve Bank.
    11. Patrycja Klusak & Matthew Agarwala & Matt Burke & Moritz Kraemer & Kamiar Mohaddes, 2021. "Rising Temperatures, Falling Ratings: The Effect of Climate Change on Sovereign Creditworthiness," Working Papers EPRG2110, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    12. Rigas, Nikos & Kounetas, Konstantinos, 2021. "The Role of temperature, Precipitation and CO2 emissions on Countries’ Economic Growth and Productivity," MPRA Paper 104727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Kling, Gerhard & Volz, Ulrich & Murinde, Victor & Ayas, Sibel, 2021. "The impact of climate vulnerability on firms’ cost of capital and access to finance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    14. Mr. Serhan Cevik & João Tovar Jalles, 2020. "This Changes Everything: Climate Shocks and Sovereign Bonds," IMF Working Papers 2020/079, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Stephen Keen & Timothy M. Lenton & Antoine Godin & Devrim Yilmaz & Matheus Grasselli & Timothy J. Garrett, 2021. "Economists' erroneous estimates of damages from climate change," Papers 2108.07847,
    16. Damania, R. & Desbureaux, S. & Zaveri, E., 2020. "Does rainfall matter for economic growth? Evidence from global sub-national data (1990–2014)," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    17. Binh Bui & Charl de Villiers, 2021. "Recovery from Covid‐19 towards a low‐carbon economy: a role for accounting technologies in designing, implementing and assessing stimulus packages," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(3), pages 4789-4831, September.
    18. Beirne, John & Renzhi, Nuobu & Volz, Ulrich, 2021. "Feeling the heat: Climate risks and the cost of sovereign borrowing," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 920-936.
    19. Schultes, Anselm & Piontek, Franziska & Soergel, Bjoern & Rogelj, Joeri & Baumstark, Lavinia & Kriegler, Elmar & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Luderer, Gunnar, 2020. "Economic damages from on-going climate change imply deeper near-term emission cuts," MPRA Paper 103655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Atolia, Manoj & Loungani, Prakash & Marquis, Milton & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2020. "Rethinking development policy: What remains of structural transformation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    21. Agarwala, M. & Burke, M. & Klusak, P. & Mohaddes, K. & Volz, U. & Zenghelis, D., 2021. "Climate Change and Fiscal Sustainability: Risks and Opportunities," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2163, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    22. Laurent JODOIN, 2020. "Nordhaus on philosophy in climate change economics," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 81-90, November.
    23. Matthew Agarwala & Matt Burke & Patrycja Klusak & Kamiar Mohaddes & Ulrich Volz & Dimitri Zenghelis, 2021. "Climate Change and Fiscal Responsibility: Risks and Opportunities," Working Papers 008, The Productivity Institute.
    24. Becken, Susanne & Carmignani, Fabrizio, 2020. "Are the current expectations for growing air travel demand realistic?," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).

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    More about this item


    Climate change; economic growth; adaptation; counterfactual analysis.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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