Deadly Variation: The Effect of Temperature Variability on Mortality
While economists have focused on the effect of mean temperatures on mortality, climate scientists have emphasized that global warming might not only lead to an increase in mean temperatures, but can potentially also affect temperature variability. This is the ﬁrst paper to estimate the causal effect of temperature variability on mortality. Using monthly state level data for the US in the period 1969-2004, I offer three main results:
(1) Increased monthly temperature variation causes increased mortality, (2) omitting the effect of temperature variability on mortality can severely bias our predictions on the number of temperature-induced fatalities caused by global warming, and (3) adaptation to increased temperature variability is more difficult than adaptation to increased mean temperatures.