Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Households and heat stress: estimating the distributional consequences of climate change

  • Jisung Park (a1), Mook Bangalore (a2) (a3), Stephane Hallegatte (a3) and Evan Sandhoefner (a4)
Abstract

Recent research documents the adverse causal impacts on health and productivity of extreme heat, which will worsen with climate change. In this paper, we assess the current distribution of heat exposure within countries, to explore possible distributional consequences of climate change through temperature. Combining survey data from 690,745 households across 52 countries with spatial data on climate, this paper suggests that the welfare impacts of added heat stress may be regressive within countries. We find: (1) a strong negative correlation between household wealth and warmer temperature in many hot countries; (2) a strong positive correlation between household wealth and warmer temperatures in many cold countries; and (3) that poorer individuals are more likely to work in occupations with greater exposure. While our analysis is descriptive rather than causal, our results suggest a larger vulnerability of poor people to heat extremes, and potentially significant distributional and poverty implications of climate change.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email: M.Bangalore@lse.ac.uk
References
Hide All
Acemoglu, D and Dell, M (2010) Productivity differences between and within countries. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 2(1), 169188.
Albouy, D, et al. (2016) Climate amenities, climate change, and American quality of life. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 3(1), 205246.
Annan, F and Schlenker, W (2015) Federal crop insurance and the disincentive to adapt to extreme heat. The American Economic Review 105(5), 262266.
Barreca, A, et al. (2016) Adapting to climate change: the remarkable decline in the US temperature-mortality relationship over the twentieth century. Journal of Political Economy 124(1), 105159.
Behrer, A and Park, J (2017) Will we adapt? Temperature, labor, and adaptation to climate change in the United States. Harvard Kennedy School Discussion Paper 16–81.
Daoud, A, Halleröd, B and Guha-Sapir, D (2016) What is the association between absolute child poverty, poor governance, and natural disasters? A global comparison of some of the realities of climate change. PLoS ONE 11(4), e0153296.
Davis, LW, Fuchs, A and Gertler, P (2014) Cash for coolers: evaluating a large-scale appliance replacement program in Mexico. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6(4), 207238.
Dell, M, Jones, BF and Olken, BA (2014) Temperature shocks and economic growth: evidence from the last half century. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 4(3), 6695.
Deryugina, T and Hsiang, SM (2014) Does the environment still matter? Daily temperature and income in the United States. NBER Working Paper No. 20750. National Bureau of Economic Research.
EM-DAT (2017) The International Disaster Database. Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters – CRED. Louvain, Belgium: University of Louvain.
Guha-Sapir, D and Santos, I (2013) The Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hallegatte, S, et al. (2016) Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty. Climate Change and Development Series, Washington, DC: World Bank.
Heal, G and Park, J (2016) Temperature stress and the direct impact of climate change: a review of an emerging literature. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 10(2), 117.
Horowitz, JK (2009) The income–temperature relationship in a cross-section of countries and its implications for predicting the effects of global warming. Environmental and Resource Economics 44(4), 475493.
Hsiang, SM (2016) Climate econometrics. Annual Review of Resource Economics 8, 4375.
NOAA (2015) India heat wave kills thousands. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Available at https://www.climate.gov/news-features/event-tracker/india-heat-wave-kills-thousands.
Roback, J (1982) Wages, rents, and the quality of life. Journal of Political Economy 90(6), 12571278.
Sachs, JD (2001) Tropical underdevelopment. NBER Working Paper No. 8119. National Bureau of Economic Research.
Seppanen, O, Fisk, WJ and Lei, Q (2006) Effect of Temperature on Task Performance in Office Environment. Berkeley, USA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Indoor Environment Department.
Sinha, P, Cropper, ML and Caulkins, M (2015) Household Location Decisions and the Value of Climate Amenities. NBER Working Paper No 21826. Cambridge, USA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Sudarshan, A, et al. (2015) The impact of temperature on productivity and labor supply-evidence from Indian manufacturing. Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics Working Paper 244.
USAID (2013) Demographic and Health Surveys Methodology: Standard Recode Manual for DHS 6. United States Agency for International Development. Available at https://www.dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/DHSG4/Recode6_DHS_22March2013_DHSG4.pdf.
Winsemius, H, et al. (2015) Disaster Risk, Climate Change, and Poverty: Assessing the Global Exposure of Poor People to Floods and Droughts. World Bank Working Paper No 7480. Washington, DC: World Bank.
World Bank (2017) World Development Indicators. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Zivin, JG and Neidell, M (2014) Temperature and the allocation of time: implications for climate change. Journal of Labor Economics 32(1), 126.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environment and Development Economics
  • ISSN: 1355-770X
  • EISSN: 1469-4395
  • URL: /core/journals/environment-and-development-economics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Park et al. supplementary material 1
Online Appendix

 PDF (996 KB)
996 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 69 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 243 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 12th March 2018 - 18th June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.