Productivity Drops 1% for Every 1°F Rise in Temperature

Thursday, January 15, 2015
(photo: Getty Images)

If a new study (pdf) is an indication, global warming will make human lives less productive.


Tatyana Deryugina and Solomon M. Hsiang of the National Bureau of Economic Research used data collected from counties throughout the 48 contiguous U.S. states and compared increases in temperature with the output of human production. They determined that as things heat up, people slow down.


 “Productivity of individual days declines roughly 1.7% for each 1°C (1.8°F) increase in daily average temperature above 15°C (59°F),” they wrote.


They also found that any time the mercury rises above 86°F, the average county loses $20.56 per capita of productivity.


“Hot weekends have little effect,” they added.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Does the Environment Still Matter? Daily Temperature and Income in the United States (by Tatyana Deryugina and Solomon M. Hsiang, National Bureau of Economic Research) (pdf)


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