The ability to work is central to most economic and social outcomes. Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS-II), with the scheduling in advance of interviews ensuring quasi-random assignment of temperature treatment to respondent, we (a) provide the first broad-based evidence of how short-term high temperatures impacts effective labor supply and, (b) show how that impact is sensitive to individual living conditions. The effects are substantial and robust. Other things equal a hot day (one in which maximum daytime temperature exceeds 37.7 C)  reduces ability to work by about 10%. The impact is strongest in older workers and varies by type of work. Access to electricity in the home has important protective effects, but only once the quality of that electricity passes a particular threshold. Installation of cooling technology in the home mitigates about a fifth of the effect. The adequacy and quality of water supply to a home also has important mitigative effects.

Keywords: Temperature - effective labor supply - climate impacts


Presented by Anthony Heyes, University of Ottawa.

Further information

While here Professor Anthony Heyes will be using room 635 Colin Clark building. If you would like to meet with him or have lunch or dinner with him please contact Dr Ian MacKenzie who will be his host while at UQ. Dr MacKenzie can be contacted on i.mackenzie@uq.edu.au.

About School Seminar Series

The School of Economics General Seminar Series is held on Fridays. These are in-person and presented by a range of guest researchers from around Australia and internationally.

« Discover more School of Economics Seminar Series


Level 1
Colin Clark building (#39)
The University of Queensland
St Lucia campus