Heat, Humidity, and Infant Mortality in the Developing World

35 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018 Last revised: 30 Aug 2018

See all articles by Michael Geruso

Michael Geruso

University of Texas at Austin; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dean Spears

University of Texas at Austin; Economics and Planning Unit, ISI-Delhi; r.i.c.e.; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 20, 2018

Abstract

We study how extreme temperature exposure impacts infant survival in the developing world. Our analysis overcomes the absence of vital registration systems in many poor countries, which has been a limiting factor in the temperature-mortality literature, by extracting birth histories from household surveys. Studying 53 developing countries that span the globe, we find impacts of hot days on infant mortality that are an order of magnitude larger than estimates from rich country studies, with humidity playing an important role. The size and implied geographic distribution of harms documented here have the potential to significantly alter assessments of optimal climate policy.

Keywords: heat, humidity, infant mortality, wet bulb temperature, climate change

JEL Classification: H23, H41, I1, I15, I18, J1, O1, Q5, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Geruso, Michael and Spears, Dean, Heat, Humidity, and Infant Mortality in the Developing World (July 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3217369 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3217369

Michael Geruso (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Dean Spears

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

Economics and Planning Unit, ISI-Delhi ( email )

7 S .J. S.
Sansanwal Marg
New Delhi, 110016
India

r.i.c.e.

New Delhi
India

HOME PAGE: http://www.riceinstitute.org

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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