Convergence in Adaptation to Climate Change: Evidence from High Temperatures and Mortality, 1900-2004

TITLE
Convergence in Adaptation to Climate Change: Evidence from High Temperatures and Mortality, 1900-2004

AUTHORS
Barreca, Alan, Karen Clay, Olivier Deschenes, Michael Greenstone, & Joseph S. Shapiro

STATUS
American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings | 2015 | 105(5): 247-51

LINK

ABSTRACT
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.