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Heat, Humidity, and Infant Mortality in the Developing World

Author

Listed:
  • Geruso, Michael

    () (University of Texas at Austin)

  • Spears, Dean

    () (University of Texas at Austin)

Abstract

We study how extreme weather exposure impacts infant survival in the developing world. Our analysis overcomes the absence of vital registration systems in many poor countries by extracting birth histories from household surveys. Studying 53 developing countries that span five continents, we find impacts of hot days on infant morality that are an order of magnitude larger than corresponding estimates from rich country studies, with humidity playing an important role. The size and implied geographic distribution of harms documented here have the potential to significantly alter assessments of optimal climate policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Geruso, Michael & Spears, Dean, 2018. "Heat, Humidity, and Infant Mortality in the Developing World," IZA Discussion Papers 11717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11717
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    heat; humidity; mortality; neonatal mortality; development; climate damages;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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