Understanding the Linkages between Climate Change and Inequality in the United States

42 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2021

See all articles by Ruchi Avtar

Ruchi Avtar

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Kristian Blickle

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Rajashri Chakrabarti

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Janavi Janakiraman

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Maxim Pinkovskiy

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Date Written: November 2021

Abstract

We conduct a review of the existing academic literature to outline possible links between climate change and inequality in the United States. First, researchers have shown that the impact of both physical and transition risks may be uneven across location, income, race, and age. This is driven by a region’s geography as well as its adaptation capabilities. Second, measures that individuals and governments take to adapt to climate change and transition to lower emissions risk increasing inequality. Finally, while federal aid and insurance coverage can mitigate the direct impact of physical risks, their structure may— inadvertently—sustain and entrench existing inequalities. We conclude by outlining some directions for future research on the nexus between inequality and climate change.

Keywords: climate, natural disaster, inequality

JEL Classification: Q54, Q58, D63

Suggested Citation

Avtar, Ruchi and Blickle, Kristian and Chakrabarti, Rajashri and Janakiraman, Janavi and Pinkovskiy, Maxim, Understanding the Linkages between Climate Change and Inequality in the United States (November 2021). FRB of New York Staff Report No. 991, November 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3961093 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3961093

Ruchi Avtar

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

Kristian Blickle

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

Rajashri Chakrabarti (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

HOME PAGE: http://nyfedeconomists.org/chakrabarti

Janavi Janakiraman

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

Maxim Pinkovskiy

Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

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