Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2192245
 
 

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Adapting to Climate Change: The Remarkable Decline in the U.S. Temperature-Mortality Relationship Over the 20th Century


Alan I. Barreca


Tulane University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Karen Clay


Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Olivier Deschenes


University of California, Santa Barbara - College of Letters & Science - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Michael Greenstone


University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Joseph S. Shapiro


Yale University, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

January 10, 2015

Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
This paper examines the temperature-mortality relationship over the course of the 20th century US both for its own interest and to identify potentially useful adaptations for coming decades. There are three primary findings. First, the mortality impact of days with mean temperature exceeding 80° F declined by 75%. Almost the entire decline occurred after 1960. Second, the diffusion of residential air conditioning (AC) explains essentially the entire decline in hot day related fatalities. Third, using Dubin-McFadden’s discrete-continuous model, the present value of US consumer surplus from the introduction of residential AC is estimated to be $85 to $188 billion ($2012).

Number of Pages in PDF File: 65

Keywords: climate change, health, adaptation, extreme temperature, air conditioning, mortality

JEL Classification: I10, I12, I18, Q54, N31


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Date posted: December 21, 2012 ; Last revised: August 25, 2015

Suggested Citation

Barreca, Alan I. and Clay, Karen and Deschenes, Olivier and Greenstone, Michael and Shapiro, Joseph S., Adapting to Climate Change: The Remarkable Decline in the U.S. Temperature-Mortality Relationship Over the 20th Century (January 10, 2015). Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2192245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2192245

Contact Information

Alan I. Barreca
Tulane University ( email )
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Karen B. Clay
Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Olivier Deschenes
University of California, Santa Barbara - College of Letters & Science - Department of Economics ( email )
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Michael Greenstone (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Joseph S. Shapiro
Yale University, Department of Economics ( email )
37 Hillhouse Ave, Room 34
New Haven, CT 06510
United States
203-432-5075 (Phone)
203-432-6323 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://economics.yale.edu/people/joseph-s-shapiro
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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