Too Hot to Handle: The Effects of High Temperatures during Pregnancy on Adult Welfare Outcomes

Hu and Li (2019) Too hot to handle: The effects of high temperatures during pregnancy on adult welfare outcomes. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 94, 236-253.

48 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2016 Last revised: 8 May 2019

See all articles by Zihan Hu

Zihan Hu

Cornell University - Department of Economics; Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management

Teng Li

Sun Yat-sen University

Date Written: January 21, 2019

Abstract

This paper studies the long-term effects of high temperatures during pregnancy on later-life outcomes for Chinese adults. Adults experienced one additional high-temperature day during in utero period, on average, attain 0.02 fewer years of schooling, increase the risk of illiteracy by 0.18%, achieve lower standardized word-test score by 0.48%, and are shorter by 0.02 cm. The impacts are greater in the first and second trimesters. Additionally, we find that income effects represent one important channel to explain the adverse effects of hot weather. Back-of-the-envelope predictions suggest that by the end of the 21st century, a 0.14-0.54 reduction in years of education and a 0.21-0.84 cm reduction in height is likely to result from climate change, ceteris paribus.

Keywords: Global warming, high temperatures, prenatal period, educational attainment, height

JEL Classification: I12, I21, Q51, Q54

Suggested Citation

Hu, Zihan and Li, Teng, Too Hot to Handle: The Effects of High Temperatures during Pregnancy on Adult Welfare Outcomes (January 21, 2019). Hu and Li (2019) Too hot to handle: The effects of high temperatures during pregnancy on adult welfare outcomes. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 94, 236-253., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2709889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2709889

Zihan Hu

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
6072806888 (Phone)
14850 (Fax)

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Teng Li (Contact Author)

Sun Yat-sen University ( email )

135, Xingang Xi Road
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275
China

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