Temperature Volatility Risk
53 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2019 Last revised: 5 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 13, 2019
We produce novel empirical evidence on the relevance of temperature volatility shocks for the dynamics of macro aggregates and asset prices. Using two centuries of UK temperature data, we document that the relationship between temperature volatility and the macroeconomy varies over time. First, the sign of the causality from temperature volatility to TFP growth is negative in the post-war period (i.e., 1950-2015) and positive before (i.e., 1800-1950). Second, over the pre-1950 (post-1950) period temperature volatility shocks positively (negatively) affect TFP growth. In the post-1950 period, temperature volatility shocks are also found to undermine equity valuations and other main macro aggregates. More importantly, temperature volatility shocks are priced in the cross section of returns and command a positive premium. We rationalize these findings within a production economy featuring long-run productivity and temperature volatility risk. In the model temperature volatility shocks generate non-negligible welfare costs. Such costs decrease (increase) when associated with immediate technology adaptation (capital depreciation).
Keywords: temperature volatility, TFP, asset prices, and welfare costs
JEL Classification: E30, G12, Q0
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation