Online Invited Seminar Talk

Extreme Temperatures, Birth Outcomes, and Socioeconomic Heterogeneity

Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography
Online Invited Seminar Talk, May 20, 2021

Risto Conte Keivabu form the European University Institute, Fiesole (Florence, Italy) investigated the effect of temperature extremes on birth outcomes and how this effect may vary by family socioeconomic background.


Risto Conte Keivabu and colleagues combine Spanish vital statistics on more than 5 million urban births between 1985 and 2016 with precise meteorological data to investigate (1) the effect of temperature extremes on birth outcomes and (2) how this effect may vary by family socioeconomic background (SES). There are two main findings. First, they observe an increase in the incidence of negative birth outcomes for children exposed to extreme heat in early gestation. Second, the effect is concentrated mostly among low socioeconomic background children. Moreover, there is also some evidence that male newborns of low-socioeconomic background are the most susceptible to extreme heat. Given the importance of birth outcomes for the well-being of the next generation, the results highlight how extreme temperatures may contribute to the widening of pre-existing socioeconomic inequalities. The forecasted increase in extreme climatic events makes the results of this study concerning, especially for low-SES children.


Risto Conte Keivabu is a PhD student in the Department of Social and Political Science at the European University Institute (EUI) in Fiesole (Florence, Italy). In his work, he aims to understand how environmental factors (e.g., climate change, air pollution) affect inequalities in life outcomes.

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.