Temperature and Growth: A Panel Analysis of the United States

Date
May 2016
This paper documents that seasonal temperatures have significant and systematic effects on the U.S. economy, both at the aggregate level and across a wide crosssection of economic sectors. This effect is particularly strong for the summer: an increase of 1°F in the average summer temperature is associated with a reduction in the annual growth rate of state-level output of 0:15 to 0:25 percentage points. When these estimates are combined with projected increases in seasonal temperatures it is found that a reduction of U.S. economic growth by up to one third could occur over the next century.