Heat, Humidity, and Infant Mortality in the Developing World

36 Pages Posted: 1 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

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Date Written: July 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.

Suggested Citation

Geruso, Michael and Spears, Dean, Heat, Humidity, and Infant Mortality in the Developing World (July 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24870. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3222437

Michael Geruso (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Dean Spears

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

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r.i.c.e.

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