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Lecture: Human Capital Costs of Climate Change

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 12:00pm to 1:25pm

King Building, 123 10 North Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Human Capital Costs of Climate Change: Evidence from Test Scores in India, is the topic of a lecture by Teevrat Garg, assistant professor, at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego.

We present estimates of the effect of temperature on cognitive performance, and find that an additional 10 days in a year above 29C reduces math and reading test scores by 0.03 and 0.02 standard deviations respectively. However, in contrast to prior work, we find evidence for an income mechanism - hot days during the growing season reduce agricultural yields and test score performance with comparatively modest effects of hot days in the non-growing season.

The roll-out of a conditional cash transfer program, by providing a safety net for the poor, weakens the link between temperature and test scores. Our results suggest that climate change will have disproportionate and large negative impacts on human capital accumulation of poor populations in agrarian economies, likely increasing the persistence of poverty. 

Sponsored by the Department of Economics Danforth-Lewis Speakers Series.

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Academic, Economics


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