The Unequal Effect of Temperature on Test Scores: Evidence from Colombia

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May 2023
We investigate the unequal impact of environmental shocks on high-stakes test scores across income levels to document that climate change will exacerbate inequality. We show that low-income students systematically score lower than high-income students and also have greater exposure to extreme heat. We show that extreme temperatures in the week leading up to the exam reduce test scores only for low-income students, indicating one channel through which
climate change will exacerbate inequality.