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
Date Written: January 21, 2019
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
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