NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Joseph S. Shapiro

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Working Papers

January 2013Adapting to Climate Change: The Remarkable Decline in the U.S. Temperature-Mortality Relationship over the 20th Century
with Alan Barreca, Karen Clay, Olivier Deschenes, Michael Greenstone: w18692
Adaptation is the only strategy that is guaranteed to be part of the world's climate strategy. Using the most comprehensive set of data files ever compiled on mortality and its determinants over the course of the 20th century, this paper makes two primary discoveries. First, we find that the mortality effect of an extremely hot day declined by about 80% between 1900-1959 and 1960-2004. As a consequence, days with temperatures exceeding 90°F were responsible for about 600 premature fatalities annually in the 1960-2004 period, compared to the approximately 3,600 premature fatalities that would have occurred if the temperature-mortality relationship from before 1960 still prevailed. Second, the adoption of residential air conditioning (AC) explains essentially the entire decline in the temper...
August 2012Defensive Investments and the Demand for Air Quality: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program and Ozone Reductions
with Olivier Deschenes, Michael Greenstone: w18267
Willingness to pay for air quality is a function of health and the costly defensive investments that contribute to health, but there is little research assessing the empirical importance of defensive investments. The setting for this paper is a large US emissions cap and trade market – the NOx Budget Trading Program (NBP) – that has greatly reduced NOx emissions since its initiation in 2003. Using rich quasi-experimental variation, we find that the reductions in NOx emissions decreased the number of summer days with high ozone levels by about 25%. The NBP also led to reductions in expenditures on prescription pharmaceutical expenditures of about 1.9%. Additionally, the summer mortality rate declined by approximately 0.5%, indicating that there were about 2,200 fewer premature deaths per su...

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