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Only in the Heat of the Moment? A Study of the Relation between Weather and Mortality in Germany


  • M. Karlsson
  • M. Schmitt


In this study we analyze the relationship between heat events and mortality in Germany. The main research questions are: Does heat lead to rising mortality and if yes, are the e ects persistent or compensated for in the near future? Furthermore, we consider di erences between heat e ects in urban and rural environments. Cause speci c daily mortality and meteorological data were connected on the county level. We allow for static as well as dynamic relations between extreme temperatures and mortality and compare di erent panel data estimation approaches. We nd that heat has a signi cant positive impact on mortality. The strongest e ects can be observed on the same day and the rst week afterwards. The mortality increase ranges between 0.003 and 3.5 per 100,000 inhabitants depending on the particular death cause. We do not nd a signi cant negative, and thus compensating, impact in the medium term, which is contrary to the Harvesting Hypothesis. Using a value of statistical life approach we estimate that each additional hot day in Germany induces a total loss of e1,861M. Moreover, the environment plays an important role. The heat induced increase in mortality is signi cantly higher in urban areas.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Karlsson & M. Schmitt, 2011. "Only in the Heat of the Moment? A Study of the Relation between Weather and Mortality in Germany," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/27

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krupnick, Alan & Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Simon, Nathalie & O'Brien, Bernie & Goeree, Ron & Heintzelman, Martin, 2002. "Age, Health and the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: A Contingent Valuation Survey of Ontario Residents," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 161-186, March.
    2. Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Krupnick, Alan & Simon, N.B.Nathalie B., 2004. "Does the value of a statistical life vary with age and health status? Evidence from the US and Canada," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 769-792, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Hübler, Michael & Klepper, Gernot & Peterson, Sonja, 2008. "Costs of climate change: The effects of rising temperatures on health and productivity in Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 381-393, December.
    5. Vaneckova, Pavla & Beggs, Paul J. & Jacobson, Carol R., 2010. "Spatial analysis of heat-related mortality among the elderly between 1993 and 2004 in Sydney, Australia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 293-304, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item


    Climate Change; Harvesting Hypothesis; Heat Waves; Mortality; Urban Heat; Island effect;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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