Temperature Effects on Human Capital: Evidence from College Entrance Examination in China
An assistant professor at Institute for Economic and Social Research(IESR), Jinan University. She holds PhD from University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include environmental and energy economics, applied econometrics and statistics.
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This paper examines the potential short-run and long-run effects of temperature on human capital production. We use college entrance examination scores as a measure of human capital. This exam is extremely important for Chinese students, since it is almost the only admission requirement for higher education and has crucial influence on a student’s future income and career. Exploiting the random fluctuations in temperature across counties, we identify the contemporaneous temperature effects on the exam scores with county fixed effects models. We find that 1 oC increase in the maximum temperature on the exam days reduces exam scores by 0.17%, which is equivalent to 1.3 points. Moreover, these contemporaneous effects have longer consequences on human capital accumulation by reducing a student’s probability of getting into a better college. We are also exploring the persistent effects of exposure to high temperature during the period in a student’s early lives.
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