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Temperature and Growth: A Panel Analysis of the United States
We document that seasonal temperatures have significant and systematic effects on the U.S. economy, both at the aggregate level and across a wide cross-section of economic sectors. This effect is particularly strong for the summer: a 1 degree F increase 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. We combine our estimates with projected increases in seasonal temperatures and find that rising temperatures could reduce U.S. economic growth by up to one-third over the next century.
Fracking and Mortgage Default
This paper ?nds that increased hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," along the Marcellus Formation in Pennsylvania had a signi?cant, negative effect on mortgage credit risk. Controlling for potential endogeneity bias by utilizing the underlying geologic properties of the land as instrumental variables for fracking activity, we ?nd that mortgages originated before the 2007 boom in shale gas, were, post-boom, signi?cantly less likely to default in areas with greater drilling activity. The weight of evidence suggests that the greatest bene?t from fracking came from strengthening the labor ...
The rising tide lifts some interest rates: climate change, natural disasters, and loan pricing
We investigate how corporate loan costs are affected by climate change-related natural disasters. We construct granular measures of borrowers’ exposure to natural disasters and then disentangle the direct effects of disasters from the effects of lenders updating their beliefs about the impact of future disasters. Following a climate change-related disaster, spreads on loans of at-risk, yet unaffected borrowers, spike and are amplified when attention to climate change is high. Weaker borrowers with the most extreme exposure to these disasters suffer the highest increase in spreads. ...
Earthquakes and House Prices: Evidence from Oklahoma
This paper examines the impact of earthquakes on residential property values using sales data from Oklahoma from 2006 to 2014. Before 2010, Oklahoma had only a couple of earthquakes per year that were strong enough to be felt by residents. Since 2010, seismic activity has increased, bring potentially damaging quakes several times each year and perceptible quakes every few days. Using hedonic models, we estimate that prices decline by 3 to 4 percent after a home has experienced a moderate earthquake measuring 4 or 5 on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale. Prices can decline up to 9.8 percent ...
Long-Term Macroeconomic Effects of Climate Change: A Cross-Country Analysis
We study the long-term impact of climate change on economic activity across countries, using a stochastic growth model where labor productivity is affected by country-specific climate variables?defined as deviations of temperature and precipitation from their historical norms. Using a panel data set of 174 countries over the years 1960 to 2014, we find that per-capita real output growth is adversely affected by persistent changes in the temperature above or below its historical norm, but we do not obtain any statistically significant effects for changes in precipitation. Our counterfactual ...
Adaptation and the Cost of Rising Temperature for the U.S. Economy
How costly will rising temperature due to climate change be for the U.S. economy? Recent research has used the well-identified response of output to weather to estimate this cost. But agents may adapt to the new climate. We propose a methodology to infer adaptation technology from the heterogeneous responses of output to weather observed currently across the U.S. Our model estimates how much each region has adapted already, and can predict how much each will adapt further after climate change. The size and distribution of losses from climate change vary substantially once adaptation is taken ...
Freeway revolts were widespread protests across the U.S. following early urban Interstate construction in the mid-1950s. We present theory and evidence from panel data on neighborhoods and travel behavior to show that diminished quality of life from freeway disamenities inspired the revolts, a?ected the allocation of freeways within cities, and changed city structure. First, actual freeway construction diverged from initial plans in the wake of the growing freeway revolts and subsequent policy responses, especially in central neighborhoods. Second, freeways caused slower growth in population, ...
Freeway Revolts! The Quality of Life Effects of Highways
Why do freeways affect spatial structure? We identify and quantify the local disamenity effects of freeways. Freeways cause slower growth in central neighborhoods (where local disamenities exceed regional accessibility benefits) compared with outlying neighborhoods (where access benefits exceed disamenities). A quantitative model calibrated to Chicago attributes one-third of the effect of freeways on central-city decline to reduced quality of life. Barrier effects are a major factor in the disamenity value of a freeway. Local disamenities from freeways, as opposed to their regional ...