IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8915.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Adapting to Climate Change: The Remarkable Decline in the U.S. Temperature-Mortality Relationship over the 20th Century

Author

Listed:
  • Barreca, Alan I.

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Clay, Karen

    () (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Deschenes, Olivier

    () (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Greenstone, Michael

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Shapiro, Joseph S.

    () (Yale University)

Abstract

A critical part of adapting to the higher temperatures that climate change brings will be the deployment of existing technologies to new sectors and regions. This paper examines the evolution of the temperature-mortality relationship over the course of the entire 20th century in the United States both for its own interest but also to identify potentially useful adaptations that may be useful in the coming decades. There are three primary findings. First, the mortality impact of days with a mean temperature exceeding 80° F has declined by about 70%. Almost the entire decline occurred after 1960. There are about 14,000 fewer fatalities annually than if the pre-1960 impacts of high temperature on mortality still prevailed. Second, the diffusion of residential air conditioning can explain essentially the entire decline in hot day related fatalities. Third, using Dubin-McFadden's discrete-continuous model, we estimate that the present value of US consumer surplus from the introduction of residential air conditioning (AC) in 1960 ranges from $83 to $186 billion ($2012) with a 5% discount rate. The monetized value of the mortality reductions on high temperature days due to AC accounts for a substantial fraction of these welfare gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Barreca, Alan I. & Clay, Karen & Deschenes, Olivier & Greenstone, Michael & Shapiro, Joseph S., 2015. "Adapting to Climate Change: The Remarkable Decline in the U.S. Temperature-Mortality Relationship over the 20th Century," IZA Discussion Papers 8915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8915
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8915.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barreca, Alan I., 2012. "Climate change, humidity, and mortality in the United States," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 19-34.
    2. Deschenes, Olivier, 2014. "Temperature, human health, and adaptation: A review of the empirical literature," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 606-619.
    3. 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.
    4. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    5. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure Up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 49-74, Fall.
    6. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
    7. Auffhammer, Maximilian & Schlenker, Wolfram, 2014. "Empirical studies on agricultural impacts and adaptation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 555-561.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:11:1738-1742_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Olivier Deschênes & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality, and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 659-681, November.
    10. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
    11. 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.
    12. Lucas W. Davis & Lutz Kilian, 2011. "Estimating the effect of a gasoline tax on carbon emissions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 1187-1214, November.
    13. Andrea Park Chung & Martin Gaynor & Seth Richards-Shubik, 2017. "Subsidies and Structure: The Lasting Impact of the Hill-Burton Program on the Hospital Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(5), pages 926-943, December.
    14. Barreca, Alan I. & Fishback, Price V. & Kantor, Shawn, 2012. "Agricultural policy, migration, and malaria in the United States in the 1930s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 381-398.
    15. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
    16. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    17. Coen-Pirani, Daniele & León, Alexis & Lugauer, Steven, 2010. "The effect of household appliances on female labor force participation: Evidence from microdata," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 503-513, June.
    18. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2006. "The Value of Health and Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 871-904, October.
    19. Martha J. Bailey & William J. Collins, 2011. "Did Improvements in Household Technology Cause the Baby Boom? Evidence from Electrification, Appliance Diffusion, and the Amish," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 189-217, April.
    20. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2004. "Using Mandated Speed Limits to Measure the Value of a Statistical Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 226-267, February.
    21. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1985:75:8:841-848_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805.
    23. Martha J. Bailey, 2006. "More Power to the Pill: The Impact of Contraceptive Freedom on Women's Life Cycle Labor Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 289-320.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Deschenes, Olivier, 2014. "Temperature, human health, and adaptation: A review of the empirical literature," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 606-619.
    3. Joshua Graff Zivin & Solomon M. Hsiang & Matthew Neidell, 2018. "Temperature and Human Capital in the Short and Long Run," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 77-105.
    4. Maria Waldinger, 2015. "The economic effects of long-term climate change: evidence from the little ice age," GRI Working Papers 214, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    5. Alem, Yonas & Colmer, Jonathan, 2013. "Optimal Expectations and the Welfare Cost of Climate Variability," Working Papers in Economics 578, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    6. Kussel, Gerhard, 2016. "Adaptation to climate variability: Evidence from German households," Ruhr Economic Papers 625, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Leard, Benjamin & Roth, Kevin, 2015. "Weather, Traffic Accidents, and Climate Change," Discussion Papers dp-15-19, Resources For the Future.
    8. Shrader, Jeffrey, 2014. "Forecasts and Adaptation," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170626, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Ziebarth, N. R. & Schmitt, M. & Karlsson, M., 2013. "The short-term population health effects of weather and pollution: implications of climate change," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/34, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    10. Jonathan Colmer, 2013. "Climate Variability, Child Labour and Schooling: Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margin," Working Papers 2013.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    11. Maria Waldinger, 2015. "The effects of climate change on internal and international migration: implications for developing countries," GRI Working Papers 192, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    12. David Albouy & Walter Graf & Ryan Kellogg & Hendrik Wolff, 2016. "Climate Amenities, Climate Change, and American Quality of Life," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 205-246.
    13. Wilson, Daniel J., 2016. "The Impact of Weather on Local Employment: Using Big Data on Small Places," Working Paper Series 2016-21, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, revised 06 Apr 2017.
    14. Kahn, Matthew E., 2015. "Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons from Urban Economics," Strategic Behavior and the Environment, now publishers, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, June.
    15. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2013. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," NBER Working Papers 19578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Dora L. Costa, 2015. "Health and the Economy in the United States from 1750 to the Present," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(3), pages 503-570, September.
    17. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field," NBER Working Papers 19426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Tatyana Deryugina & Solomon M. Hsiang, 2014. "Does the Environment Still Matter? Daily Temperature and Income in the United States," NBER Working Papers 20750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2016. "Measured, Unmeasured, Mismeasured, and Unjustified Pessimism: A Review Essay of Thomas Piketty’s Capitalism in the Twenty First Century," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 4, pages 153-195, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; temperature; air conditioning; climate change adaptation;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8915. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.