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Sellin' in the Rain: Weather, Climate, and Retail Sales
I apply a novel machine-learning based “weather index” method to daily store- level sales data for a national apparel and sporting goods brand to examine short-run responses to weather and long-run adaptation to climate. I find that even when considering potentially offsetting shifts of sales between outdoor and indoor stores, to the firm's website, or over time, weather has significant persistent effects on sales. This suggests that weather may increase sales volatility as more severe weather shocks be- come more frequent under climate change. Consistent with adaptation to climate, I ...
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 ...
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 ...
Sellin’ in the Rain: Adaptation to Weather and Climate in the Retail Sector
Using novel methodology and proprietary daily store-level sporting goods and apparel brand data, I find that, consistent with long-run adaptation to climate, sales sensitivity to weather declines with historical norms and variability of weather. Short-run adaptation to weather shocks is dominated by changes in what people buy and how they buy it, with little intertemporal substitution. Over four weeks, a one-standard deviation one-day weather shock shifts sales by about 10 percent. While switching between indoor and outdoor stores offsets a small portion of contemporaneous responses to ...