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New results on the influence of climate on the distribution of population and economic activity


  • Füssel, Hans-Martin


This paper applies G-Econ+, an updated version of the G-Econ database by Nordhaus, to analyze the influence of climatic and geographic factors on the geographic distribution of population and economic activity. I discuss options for improved treatment of several statistical problems associated with G-Econ, which are not addressed adequately in the original G-Econ analysis. Reanalysis of key results from the original G-Econ analysis corrects some surprising results therein. Extensive sensitivity analysis determines the robustness of the relationship between climatic factors and economic activity across alternative central estimators. Further analysis assesses revealed climatic preferences of population, the effects of climate parameters on different quantiles of economic variables, and synergies between temperature and precipitation. I find that population density has a much stronger influence on output density than output per capita. Furthermore, least developed countries are located in a climatic zone where all indicators of economic activity decline with increasing temperature.

Suggested Citation

  • Füssel, Hans-Martin, 2009. "New results on the influence of climate on the distribution of population and economic activity," MPRA Paper 13788, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13788

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    2. Mullahy, John, 1998. "Much ado about two: reconsidering retransformation and the two-part model in health econometrics," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-281, June.
    3. Manning, Willard G. & Basu, Anirban & Mullahy, John, 2005. "Generalized modeling approaches to risk adjustment of skewed outcomes data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 465-488, May.
    4. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, March.
    5. Mendelsohn, Robert & Nordhaus, William D & Shaw, Daigee, 1994. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 753-771, September.
    6. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Temperature and Income: Reconciling New Cross-Sectional and Panel Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 198-204, May.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Manning, Willard G. & Mullahy, John, 2001. "Estimating log models: to transform or not to transform?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 461-494, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Füssel, Hans-Martin, 2010. "Global maps of climate change impacts on the favourability for human habitation and economic activity," MPRA Paper 29888, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Climate; macroeconomics; population; cross-sectional analysis; G-Econ;

    JEL classification:

    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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