What do homeowners like less: extreme heat or extreme cold?

This paper uses hedonic methods and variation in wages and housing costs to estimate households’ valuation of climate amenities. We find that, on the margin, households are willing to pay more to reduce extreme heat than to reduce extreme cold. Combining these estimates with “business as usual” climate forecasts for the United States, we find welfare losses in most areas by 2100, with particularly large effects in California, southern states, and urban centers. On average, the cost of hotter summers exceeds the gain from warmer winters by 2 to 3 percent of income per year. These results account for taste heterogeneity and sorting; moreover, they are not substantially attenuated by allowing for migration.

Source: “Aversion to Extreme Temperatures, Climate Change, and Quality of Life” from University of Washington, Department of Economics, Working Papers, UWEC-2011-03.

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