The Distributional Effects of Climate Change: Evidence from Iran
38 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021 Last revised: 14 May 2021
Date Written: May 14, 2021
Climate change has heterogeneous effects on poor and wealthy households due to differences in vulnerabilities and exposure. However, few papers provide estimates on the magnitude of climate impacts across the income distribution. In this paper, we combine 21 rounds of household expenditure and income surveys from Iran for the period from 1998 to 2018 to construct a large sample of rural and urban households. Using within-district variation in temperature, we show that a one-degree Celsius increase in annual temperature leads to 8.1 and 4.7 percent decreases in rural and urban per capita expenditures, respectively. We find that the impact is twice the average effect for the poorest decile. Furthermore, we provide evidence that available household resources that determine vulnerabilities play a more important role than the difference in exposure to climate change. Our findings suggest that compensatory policies should target the poorest households, as poverty is a stronger determinant of impact than being an agricultural worker or residing in already hot areas.
Keywords: Climate Change, Expenditure Distribution, Vulnerability, Poverty
JEL Classification: Q51, Q54, Q12, I32, D31
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