Goldilocks Economies? Temperature Stress and the Direct Impacts of Climate Change

Geoffrey Heal, Jisung Park

NBER Working Paper No. 21119
Issued in April 2015
NBER Program(s):   DEV   EEE   LS

We review recent literature on the effect of temperature stress on economic activity, operating through basic human physiology. There is growing evidence from both micro and macro studies of causal impacts of extreme temperature on health, labor supply, and labor productivity, driven in large part by extreme heat stress. There is also a suggestion of an optimal temperature zone for economic activity, though empirical research on potential adaptive responses remains thin. This emerging literature has implications for the consequence of climate change, and may also provide a partial explanation of why hot countries are generally poorer than temperate or cold ones.

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

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for 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/w21119

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Abbott, Klaiber, and Smith w20959 Economic Behavior, Market Signals, and Urban Ecology
Heal and Park w19725 Feeling the Heat: Temperature, Physiology & the Wealth of Nations
Moretti and Wilson w21120 The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists
Hausman and Kellogg w21115 Welfare and Distributional Implications of Shale Gas
Hong and McLaren w21123 Are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy?
NBER Videos

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

Contact Us