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Only in the heat of the moment? A study of the relationship between weather and mortality in Germany

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  • Karlsson, Martin
  • Schmitt, Maike

Abstract

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 effects persistent or compensated for in the near future? Furthermore, we consider differences between heat effects in urban and rural environments. Cause specific daily mortality and meteorological data is connected on the county level. We allow for static as well as dynamic relations between extreme temperatures and mortality and implement several panel data estimation approaches. We find that heat has a significant positive impact on mortality. The strongest effects can be measured on the day when heat occurs and the first 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 find a significant negative, and thus compensating impact in a medium term, which is in the contrary to the Harvesting Hypothesis. Using a value of statistical life approach we estimate that one additional hot day in Germany induces for the overall population a loss of m 1,861. Moreover, the environment plays an important role. The heat induced increase in mortality is significantly higher in urban areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Karlsson, Martin & Schmitt, Maike, 2011. "Only in the heat of the moment? A study of the relationship between weather and mortality in Germany," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 203, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:darddp:dar_52733
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
    6. repec:cai:poeine:pope_703_0457 is not listed on IDEAS
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