Online Invited Seminar Talk

Deadly Variation: The Effect of Temperature Variability on Mortality

Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography
Online Invited Seminar Talk via Zoom, June 30, 2020

Isabel Hovdahl, a PhD candidate in Economics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) gave an Online Invited Seminar Talk about 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 variability 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.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.