Physical Climate Change and the Sovereign Risk of Emerging Economies

52 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2020 Last revised: 4 May 2021

See all articles by Hannes Boehm

Hannes Boehm

Halle Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: May 1, 2021


I show that rising temperatures can detrimentally affect the sovereign creditworthiness of emerging economies. To this end, I collect long-term monthly temperature data of 54 emerging markets. I calculate a country's temperature deviation from its historical average, which approximates present-day climate change trends. Running regressions from 1994m1-2018m12, I find that higher temperature anomalies lower sovereign bond performances (i.e. increase sovereign risk) significantly for countries that are warmer on average and have lower seasonality. The estimated magnitudes suggest that affected countries likely face significant increases in their sovereign borrowing costs if temperatures continue to rise due to climate change. However, results indicate that stronger institutions can make a country more resilient towards temperature shocks, which holds independent of a country's climate.

Keywords: Climate Risks, Sovereign Risk, International Finance, Emerging Market Economies, Institutions

JEL Classification: Q54, Q56, G15, H63, O13

Suggested Citation

Boehm, Hannes, Physical Climate Change and the Sovereign Risk of Emerging Economies (May 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Hannes Boehm (Contact Author)

Halle Institute for Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 11 03 61
Kleine Maerkerstrasse 8
D-06017 Halle, 06108

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