Temperature and High-Stakes Cognitive Performance: Evidence from the National College Entrance Examination in China
35 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 17, 2018
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
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