Voluntary Exposure Benefits and the Costs of Climate Change

Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 15-19-REV2

58 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2015 Last revised: 30 Dec 2017

See all articles by Benjamin Leard

Benjamin Leard

Resources for the Future

Kevin Roth

University of California, Irvine

Date Written: September 14, 2017

Abstract

We identify behavioral responses, defined as “voluntary exposure benefits,” that have the potential to offset measured costs of climate change. We quantify these responses for the transportation sector. We find warmer temperatures and reduced snowfall are associated with an increase in fatal accidents. While the application of these results to climate predictions suggests that weather patterns for the end of the century would lead to 381 additional fatalities per year, the associated welfare losses are almost completely offset by voluntary exposure benefits from increased traveling. Our results motivate carefully examining behavioral mechanisms to accurately estimate the welfare effects of climate change.

Keywords: Traffic Accidents, Exposure, Climate Change

JEL Classification: Q58, Q52, H23, R41

Suggested Citation

Leard, Benjamin and Roth, Kevin, Voluntary Exposure Benefits and the Costs of Climate Change (September 14, 2017). Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 15-19-REV2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2622713 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2622713

Benjamin Leard (Contact Author)

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Kevin Roth

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

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