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Long-Term Effect of Climate Change on Health: Evidence from Heat Waves in Mexico

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  • Jorge Aguero

Abstract

This paper uses year-to-year variation in temperature to estimate the long-term effects of climate change on health outcomes in Mexico. Combining temperature data at the district level and three rounds of nationally representative household surveys, an individual’s health as an adult is matched with the history of heat waves from birth to adulthood. A flexible econometric model is used to identify critical health periods with respect to temperature. It is shown that exposure to higher temperatures early in life has negative consequences on adult height. Most importantly, the effects are concentrated at the times where children experience growth spurts: infancy and adolescence. The robustness of these findings is confirmed when using health outcomes derived from accidents, which are uncorrelated with early exposure to high temperatures.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Aguero, 2014. "Long-Term Effect of Climate Change on Health: Evidence from Heat Waves in Mexico," Research Department Publications IDB-WP-481, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:idb-wp-481
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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.
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    4. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 697-812, Elsevier.
    5. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2009. "Early Life Health and Cognitive Function in Old Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 104-109, May.
    6. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-376, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Akresh & German Daniel Caruso & Harsha Thirumurthy, 2014. "Medium-Term Health Impacts of Shocks Experienced In Utero and After Birth: Evidence from Detailed Geographic Information on War Exposure," NBER Working Papers 20763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Akresh, Richard & Caruso, German Daniel & Thirumurthy, Harsha, 2016. "Detailed Geographic Information, Conflict Exposure, and Health Impacts," IZA Discussion Papers 10330, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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