Convergence in Adaptation to Climate Change: Evidence from High Temperatures and Mortality, 1900-2004
Barreca, Alan, Karen Clay, Olivier Deschenes, Michael Greenstone, & Joseph S. Shapiro
American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings | 2015 | 105(5): 247-51
This paper combines panel data on monthly mortality rates of US states and daily temperature variables for over a century (1900-2004) to explore the regional evolution of the temperature-mortality relationship and documents two key findings. First, the impact of extreme heat on mortality is notably smaller in states that more frequently experience extreme heat. Second, the difference in the heat-mortality relationship between hot and cold states declined over 1900-2004, though it persisted through 2004. Continuing differences in the mortality consequences of hot days suggests that health motivated adaptation to climate change may be slow and costly around the world.
A Pint for a Pound? Minimum Drinking Age Laws and Birth Outcomes
Barreca, Alan, & Marianne Page
Health Economics | 2015 | 24(4): 400-418
Minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) laws are known to reduce alcohol consumption among young adults. One additional benefit of higher MLDAs may be that they improve health outcomes among infants born to young mothers. We estimate the impact of MLDAs on infant health in the USA by comparing birth outcomes among 14–20 year old mothers who were exposed to different MLDAs because of when and where they gave birth. Infants born to mothers who were between the ages of 21 and 24 years are included as a control group. We find that low MLDAs are associated with very small birth weight reductions, but have a little relationship with other traditional measures of infant health. We find compelling evidence, however, that a low MLDA increases the probability of a female birth, which suggests that restricting alcohol access to young mothers may reduce fetal deaths.