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http://ssrn.com/abstract=998010
 
 

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Extreme Weather Events, Mortality and Migration


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)

Enrico Moretti


University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

July 2007

NBER Working Paper No. w13227

Abstract:     
We estimate the effect of extreme weather on life expectancy in the US. Using high frequency mortality data, we find that both extreme heat and extreme cold result in immediate increases in mortality. However, the increase in mortality following extreme heat appears entirely driven by temporal displacement, while the increase in mortality following extreme cold is long lasting. The aggregate effect of cold on mortality is quantitatively large. We estimate that the number of annual deaths attributable to cold temperature is 27,940 or 1.3% of total deaths in the US. This effect is even larger in low income areas. Because the U.S. population has been moving from cold Northeastern states to the warmer Southwestern states, our findings have implications for understanding the causes of long-term increases in life expectancy. We calculate that every year, 5,400 deaths are delayed by changes in exposure to cold temperature induced by mobility. These longevity gains associated with long term trends in geographical mobility account for 8%-15% of the total gains in life expectancy experienced by the US population over the past 30 years. Thus mobility is an important but previously overlooked determinant of increased longevity in the United States. We also find that the probability of moving to a state that has fewer days of extreme cold is higher for the age groups that are predicted to benefit more in terms of lower mortality compared to the age groups that are predicted to benefit less.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

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Date posted: July 3, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Deschenes, Olivier and Moretti, Enrico, Extreme Weather Events, Mortality and Migration (July 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13227. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=998010

Contact Information

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
Enrico Moretti (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )
549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
HOME PAGE: http://emlab.berkeley.edu/~moretti/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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