Using Weather Data and Climate Model Output in Economic Analyses of Climate Change

Maximilian Auffhammer, Solomon M. Hsiang, Wolfram Schlenker, Adam Sobel

NBER Working Paper No. 19087
Issued in May 2013
NBER Program(s):   EEE

Economists are increasingly using weather data and climate model output in analyses of the economic impacts of climate change. This article introduces weather data sets and climate models that are frequently used, discusses the most common mistakes economists make in using these products, and identifies ways to avoid these pitfalls. We first provide an introduction to weather data, including a summary of the types of datasets available, and then discuss five common pitfalls that empirical researchers should be aware of when using historical weather data as explanatory variables in econometric applications. We then provide a brief overview of climate models and discuss two common and significant errors often made by economists when climate model output is used to simulate the future impacts of climate change on an economic outcome of interest.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.


Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19087

Published: Using Weather Data and Climate Model Output in Economic Analyses of Climate Change Maximilian Auffhammer*, Solomon M. Hsiang†, Wolfram Schlenker§ and Adam Sobel‡ Rev Environ Econ Policy (Summer 2013) 7 (2): 181-198. doi: 10.1093/reep/ret016

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Dell, Jones, and Olken w19578 What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature
Pindyck w19244 Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?
Heal and Millner w18929 Uncertainty and Decision in Climate Change Economics
Albouy, Graf, Kellogg, and Wolff w18925 Climate Amenities, Climate Change, and American Quality of Life
Hsiang and Jina w20352 The Causal Effect of Environmental Catastrophe on Long-Run Economic Growth: Evidence From 6,700 Cyclones
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us