IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tul/wpaper/0906.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Climate Change, Humidity, and Mortality in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Alan Barreca

    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

Abstract

Using data from the United States (c. 1968-2002), this paper estimates the effects of temperature and humidity on mortality rates in order to contribute insight into the potential costs of climate change. Previous research on the health effects of climate change has focused on the impact of temperature changes; this is the first research (that I know) to examine the potential consequences of humidity changes. This analysis leads to five important results: First, I find that failure to control for humidity overstates the importance of cold temperature as a determinant of mortality. Second, I find that there is a reverse-J shaped temperature-mortality relationship, and a reverse-J shaped humidity-mortality relationship. Third, the adverse effects from exposure to cold temperatures and low-humidity levels are both large and statistically significant. Fourth, interacted temperature-humidity models (e.g. "hot and humid") produce similar estimates to non-interacted models (e.g. "hot" or "humid"). Fifth, the effects are largest for cardiovascular and respiratory deaths and for individuals over 45 years of age. On the whole, these results imply that climate change may actually reduce mortality rates in the U.S. by a small amount in the coming decades; however, I demonstrate that failing to control for humidity overstates the health benefits of climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Barreca, 2009. "Climate Change, Humidity, and Mortality in the United States," Working Papers 0906, Tulane University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:0906
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul0906.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://repec.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul0906r1.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2009
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eisenberg, D. & Warner, K.E., 2005. "Effects of snowfalls on motor vehicle collisions, injuries, and fatalities," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 95(1), pages 120-124.
    2. Martens, W. J. M., 1998. "Climate change, thermal stress and mortality changes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 331-344, February.
    3. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change, Part II. Dynamic Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(2), pages 135-160, February.
    6. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408, Elsevier.
    7. Wolfram Schlenker & Michael J. Roberts, 2008. "Estimating the Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yields: The Importance of Nonlinear Temperature Effects," NBER Working Papers 13799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Nicholas Stern, 2008. "The Economics of Climate Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 1-37, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Marko Korhonen & Suvi Kangasrääsiö & Rauli Svento, 2017. "Climate change and mortality: Evidence from 23 developed countries between 1960 and 2010," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 5107635, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    2. Luca Gerotto & Paolo Pellizzari, 2021. "A replication of Pindyck’s willingness to pay: on the efforts required to obtain results," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 1(5), pages 1-25, May.
    3. Pindyck, Robert S., 2012. "Uncertain outcomes and climate change policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 289-303.
    4. Tol, Richard S. J., 2011. "Modified Ramsey Discounting for Climate Change," Papers WP368, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Kornek, Ulrike & Klenert, David & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Fleurbaey, Marc, 2021. "The social cost of carbon and inequality: When local redistribution shapes global carbon prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    6. Runkel, Marco & Kellner, Maximilian, 2018. "Climate Policy and Optimal Public Debt," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181639, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. 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.
    8. Robert S. Pindyck, 2013. "Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 860-872, September.
    9. Hjort, Ingrid, 2016. "Potential Climate Risks in Financial Markets: A Literature Overview," Memorandum 01/2016, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Dobes Leo & Jotzo Frank & Stern David I., 2014. "The Economics of Global Climate Change: A Historical Literature Review," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 65(3), pages 281-320, December.
    11. Jones, Benjamin A., 2019. "Tree Shade, Temperature, and Human Health: Evidence from Invasive Species-induced Deforestation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 12-23.
    12. Howard, Joshua C. & Cakan, Esin & Upadhyaya, Kamal P., 2016. "Climate Change And Its Impact On Wheat Production In Kansas," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 4(2), pages 1-10, April.
    13. Botzen, W.J.W. & Bouwer, L.M. & van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., 2010. "Climate change and hailstorm damage: Empirical evidence and implications for agriculture and insurance," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 341-362, August.
    14. Tamma Carleton & Michael Greenstone, 2021. "Updating the United States Government's Social Cost of Carbon," Working Papers 2021-04, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    15. Bosello, Francesco & Roson, Roberto & Tol, Richard S.J., 2006. "Economy-wide estimates of the implications of climate change: Human health," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 579-591, June.
    16. Donadelli, M. & Jüppner, M. & Riedel, M. & Schlag, C., 2017. "Temperature shocks and welfare costs," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 331-355.
    17. Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Jonathan Guryan, 2009. "Climate Change and Birth Weight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 211-217, May.
    18. van den Bergh, J.C.J.M. & Botzen, W.J.W., 2015. "Monetary valuation of the social cost of CO2 emissions: A critical survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 33-46.
    19. Frederick Ploeg & Aart Zeeuw, 2019. "Pricing Carbon and Adjusting Capital to Fend Off Climate Catastrophes," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 72(1), pages 29-50, January.
    20. Johan Eyckmans & Sam Fankhauser & Snorre Kverndokk, 2016. "Development Aid and Climate Finance," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(2), pages 429-450, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; humidity; temperature; mortality; health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - 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:tul:wpaper:0906. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/detulus.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Valentina Martinez Pabon (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/detulus.html .

    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.