Air pollution has been shown to have negative health outcomes such as lower life expectancy, increased illness and hospitalization rates. This is relatively straightforward. But given that pollution can penetrate the blood flow and the circulatory system, it may even have effects on cognition.
If pollution can indeed affect cognitive performance, even in the short run, then the harm from pollution is not limited to “simple” health issues. This means that days with higher air pollution can have lower labor productivity, more injuries in the workplace, and even lower test scores on various exams taken by students.
Economists have been studying climate change for at least two decades, starting probably with Nordhaus’s 1992 paper. The main aim of economists is not to predict temperature increases per se but to make the connection between climate change and economic activity clear.
Specifically, economists assume that there is a trade-off between economic activity and climate change. Building models based on this assumption can help us answer more practical questions about global warming, the most important of which is what policies to combat global warming are optimal.
With all the heat waves and wildfires around, many people are asking whether today’s extremely hot temperatures are an anomaly or something that used to be the same in the past.
In this article I carry out a brief and simple analysis to shed some light on this question.