Temperature and High-Stakes Cognitive Performance: Evidence from the National College Entrance Examination in China

35 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2018

See all articles by Joshua Graff Zivin

Joshua Graff Zivin

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Yingquan Song

Peking University

Qu Tang

Jinan University

Peng Zhang

Hong Kong Polytechnic University - School of Accounting and Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 17, 2018

Abstract

We provide the first nation-wide estimates on temperature effects on high-stakes cognitive performance in a developing country using data from the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) in China. The NCEE is one of the most important institutions in China and affects hundreds of millions of families. We find that a one-standard-deviation increase in temperature (3.29 °C) decreases the total test score by 1.12% (9.62% of a standard deviation) and decreases the probability of getting into first-tier universities by 1.97% (4.38% of a standard deviation). This suggests that temperature plays an important role in high-stakes cognitive performance and has potentially far-reaching impacts for the careers and lifetime earnings of students.

Keywords: cognitive performance, temperature, climate change, standardized test

JEL Classification: Q54, I23, I24

Suggested Citation

Graff Zivin, Joshua and Song, Yingquan and Tang, Qu and Zhang, Peng, Temperature and High-Stakes Cognitive Performance: Evidence from the National College Entrance Examination in China (September 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3250609 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3250609

Joshua Graff Zivin

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yingquan Song

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Qu Tang

Jinan University ( email )

Huang Pu Da Dao Xi 601, Tian He District
Guangzhou, 510632
China

Peng Zhang (Contact Author)

Hong Kong Polytechnic University - School of Accounting and Finance ( email )

Hung Hom
Kowloon
Hong Kong

HOME PAGE: http://pengzhang.weebly.com

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