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Temperature, Aggregate Risk, and Expected Returns

  • Ravi Bansal
  • Marcelo Ochoa

In this paper we show that temperature is an aggregate risk factor that adversely affects economic growth. Our argument is based on evidence from global capital markets which shows that the covariance between country equity returns and temperature (i.e., temperature betas) contains sharp information about the cross-country risk premium; countries closer to the Equator carry a positive temperature risk premium which decreases as one moves farther away from the Equator. The differences in temperature betas mirror exposures to aggregate growth rate risk, which we show is negatively impacted by temperature shocks. That is, portfolios with larger exposure to risk from aggregate growth also have larger temperature betas; hence, a larger risk premium. We further show that increases in global temperature have a negative impact on economic growth in countries closer to the Equator, while its impact is negligible in countries at high latitudes. Consistent with this evidence, we show that there is a parallel between a country's distance to the Equator and the economy's dependence on climate sensitive sectors; in countries closer to the Equator industries with a high exposure to temperature are more prevalent. We provide a Long-Run Risks based model that quantitatively accounts for cross-sectional differences in temperature betas, its link to expected returns, and the connection between aggregate growth and temperature risks.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17575.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17575.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17575
Note: AP EEE EFG
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  1. Harjoat S. Bhamra & Lars-Alexander Kuehn & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2010. "The Levered Equity Risk Premium and Credit Spreads: A Unified Framework," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(2), pages 645-703, February.
  2. Lars Peter Hansen & John Heaton & Nan Li, 2005. "Consumption Strikes Back?: Measuring Long-Run Risk," NBER Working Papers 11476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Crocker, Thomas D & Horst, Robert L, Jr, 1981. "Hours of Work, Labor Productivity, and Environmental Conditions: A Case Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 361-68, August.
  4. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  5. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," NBER Working Papers 10739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  7. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Equilibrium Yield Curves," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 389-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1481-1509, 08.
  9. Ravi Bansal & Robert F. Dittmar & Christian T. Lundblad, 2005. "Consumption, Dividends, and the Cross Section of Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1639-1672, 08.
  10. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2008. "Climate Change and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 14132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  12. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
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