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Climate and the productivity, health, and peacefulness of society


Mounting evidence that the global climate is changing has motivated a growing body of work seeking to understand the likely impacts of these changes on economic outcomes of interest. This dissertation studies the effects of variation in climate on three different outcomes: agricultural productivity in the United States, HIV in Africa, and human conflict around the world. Along with the co-authors on these papers, I find that both short- and long-run increases in temperature are harmful to agricultural productivity in the US, that increased exposure to drought increases HIV prevalence in rural parts of Africa, and that increases in temperature and extreme rainfall are associated with substantial increases in a variety of types of human conflict. These findings have implications both for our understanding of the economics of disease and conflict, and for how much societies might be willing to invest in emissions mitigation and adaptation in the face of future climate change.

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