Advertisement

Ambient temperature, birth rate, and birth outcomes: evidence from South Korea

  • Hyunkuk ChoEmail author
Original Paper
  • 28 Downloads

Abstract

The effects from rising temperatures, a symptom of climate change, have become a significant concern. This study finds that one additional day with a maximum temperature of 30–32 °C (86–89.6 °F), relative to a day with a temperature of 28–30 °C (82.4–86 °F), decreases the birth rate 9 months later by 0.24%, or 92 babies per month in South Korea. This result is robust to various specifications and samples. This study also found that the impact of the temperature bin did not vary according to the mother’s characteristics, including education and age. That is, high temperature has no differential effect on mothers of different backgrounds. Finally, we found no significant temperature effect on birth outcomes, but we cannot rule out that children born 9 months after summer heat are a selected (healthy) group.

Keywords

Summer heat Birth rate Birth outcomes Avoidance behavior Climate change 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Jaesung Choi, Junseok Hwang, Henny Kim, Jihyeon Kwon, and seminar participants at the Korean Labor Economics Association and Yeungnam University for their valuable comments on this research.

Funding information

This research was supported by the Yeungnam University Research Grant (217A580018).

References

  1. Almond, D., & Currie, J. (2011). Killing me softly: the fetal origins hypothesis. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(3), 153–172.  https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.25.3.153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Almond, D., Edlund, L., & Palme, M. (2009). Chernobyl’s subclinical legacy: prenatal exposure to radioactive fallout and school outcomes in Sweden. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(4), 1729–1772.  https://doi.org/10.1162/qjec.2009.124.4.1729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andalón, M., Azevedo, J. P., Rodríguez-Castelán, C., Sanfelice, V., & Valderrama-González, D. (2016). Weather shocks and health at birth in Colombia. World Development, 82, 69–82.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.01.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bai, L., et al. (2014). The effects of summer temperature and heat waves on heat-related illness in a coastal city of China 2011–2013. Environmental Research, 132, 212–219.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2014.04.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barreca, A. (2012). Climate change, humidity, and mortality in the United States. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 63(1), 19–34.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2011.07.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barreca, A., Deschenes, O., & Guldi, M. (2018). Maybe next month? Temperature shocks and dynamic adjustments in birth rates. Demography, 55(4), 1269–1293.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-018-0690-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Basu, R., Malig, B., & Ostro, B. (2010). High ambient temperature and the risk of preterm delivery. American Journal of Epidemiology, 172(10), 1108–1117.  https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwq170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Black, S. E., A. Bütikofer, P. J. Devereux, and K. G. Salvanes. 2013. “This is only a test? Long-run impacts of prenatal exposure to radioactive fallout.” (No. w18987. National Bureau of Economic Research).  https://doi.org/10.3386/w18987.
  9. Chen, Z., et al. (2003). Seasonal variation and age-related changes in human semen parameters. Journal of Andrology, 24(2), 226–231.  https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1939-4640.2003.tb02666.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cho, H. (2017). The effects of summer heat on academic achievement: a cohort analysis. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 83, 185–196.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2017.03.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cummings, D. R. (2010). Human birth seasonality and sunshine. American Journal of Human Biology, 22(3), 316–324.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.20987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dadvand, P., et al. (2011). Climate extremes and the length of gestation. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(10), 1449–1453.  https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1003241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dell, M., Jones, B. F., & Olken, B. A. (2012). Temperature shocks and economic growth: evidence from the last half century. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 4(3), 66–95.  https://doi.org/10.1257/mac.4.3.66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dell, M., Jones, B. F., & Olken, B. A. (2014). What do we learn from the weather? The new climate-economy literature. Journal of Economic Literature, 52(3), 740–798.  https://doi.org/10.1257/jel.52.3.740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Deschênes, O., Greenstone, M., & Guryan, J. (2009). Climate change and birth weight. The American Economic Review, 99(2), 211–217.  https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.99.2.211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Graff Zivin, J. S., & Neidell, M. (2014). Temperature and the allocation of time: implications for climate change. Journal of Labor Economics, 32(1), 1–26.  https://doi.org/10.1086/671766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Graff Zivin, J., Hsiang, S. M., & Neidell, M. (2018). Temperature and human capital in the short- and long-run. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 5(1), 77–105.  https://doi.org/10.1086/694177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Habeeb, D., Vargo, J., & Stone, B. (2015). Rising heat wave trends in large US cities. Natural Hazards, 76(3), 1651–1665.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-014-1563-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hoynes, H., Schanzenbach, D. W., & Almond, D. (2016). Long-run impacts of childhood access to the safety net. The American Economic Review, 106(4), 903–934.  https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.20130375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hsiang, S. M. (2016). Climate econometrics. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 8, 43–75.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-resource-100815-095343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Huber, S., & Fieder, M. (2009). Strong association between birth month and reproductive performance of Vietnamese women. American Journal of Human Biology, 21(1), 25–35.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.20799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2014. “Climate change 2014: mitigation of climate change.” Cambridge University Press Cambridge United Kingdom and New York NY USA.Google Scholar
  23. Isen, A., M. Rossin-Slater, and R. Walker. 2015. “Heat and long-run human capital formation.” Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  24. Jacob, B., Lefgren, L., & Moretti, E. (2007). The dynamics of criminal behavior: evidence from weather shocks. The Journal of Human Resources, 42(3), 489–527.  https://doi.org/10.3368/jhr.XLII.3.489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lam, D. A. and J. A. Miron. 1991. “Temperature and the seasonality of births. In Temperature and environmental effects on the testis, Adrian Zorgniotti, 73–88. Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  26. Lam, D. A., & Miron, J. A. (1996). The effects of temperature on human fertility. Demography, 33(3), 291–305.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2061762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lam, D. A., Miron, J. A., & Riley, A. (1994). Modeling seasonality in fecundability conceptions and births. Demography, 31(2), 321–346.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2061888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lee, S. J., Hajat, S., Steer, P. J., & Filippi, V. (2008). A time-series analysis of any short-term effects of meteorological and air pollution factors on preterm births in London, UK. Environmental Research, 106(2), 185–194.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2007.10.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Levine, R. J., et al. (1990). Differences in the quality of semen in outdoor workers during summer and winter. The New England Journal of Medicine, 323(1), 12–16.  https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM199007053230103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Levitas, E., Lunenfeld, E., Weisz, N., Friger, M., & Har-Vardi, I. (2013). Seasonal variations of human sperm cells among 6455 semen samples: a plausible explanation of a seasonal birth pattern. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 208(5), 406.e1–406.e6.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2013.02.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mao, H., Feng, L., & Yang, W. X. (2017). Environmental factors contributed to circannual rhythm of semen quality. Chronobiology International, 34(3), 411–425.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2017.1280046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Markey, P. M., & Markey, C. N. (2013). Seasonal variation in internet keyword searches: a proxy assessment of sex mating behaviors. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42(4), 515–521.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-012-9996-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McMorris, T., et al. (2006). Heat stress plasma concentrations of adrenaline noradrenaline 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol mood state and cognitive performance. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 61(2), 204–215.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2005.10.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nybo, L., Rasmussen, P., & Sawka, M. N. (2014). Performance in the heat—physiological factors of importance for hyperthermia-induced fatigue. Comprehensive Physiology, 4, 657–689.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c130012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Porter, K. R., Thomas, S. D., & Whitman, S. (1999). The relation of gestation length to short-term heat stress. American Journal of Public Health, 89(7), 1090–1092.  https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.89.7.1090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ranson, M. (2014). Crime, weather, and climate change. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 67(3), 274–302.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2013.11.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Robine, J. M., et al. (2008). Death toll exceeded 70000 in Europe during the summer of 2003. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 331(2), 171–178.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crvi.2007.12.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Roenneberg, T., & Aschoff, J. (1990). Annual rhythm of human reproduction: II. Environmental correlations. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 5(3), 217–239.  https://doi.org/10.1177/074873049000500304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sanders, N. J. (2012). What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker: prenatal pollution exposure and educational outcomes. The Journal of Human Resources, 47(3), 826–850.  https://doi.org/10.3368/jhr.47.3.826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Seiver, D. A. (1985). Trend and variation in the seasonality of U.S. fertility 1947–1976. Demography, 22(1), 89–100.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2060988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Seiver, D. A. (1989). Seasonality of fertility: new evidence. Population and Environment, 10(4), 245–257.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01255839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sorensen, C., Murray, V., Lemery, J., & Balbus, J. (2018). Climate change and women’s health: impacts and policy directions. PLoS Medicine, 15(7), e1002603.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Strand, L. B., Barnett, A. G., & Tong, S. (2011). The influence of season and ambient temperature on birth outcomes: a review of the epidemiological literature. Environmental Research, 111(3), 451–462.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2011.01.023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tustin, K., Gross, J., & Hayne, H. (2004). Maternal exposure to first trimester sunshine is associated with increased birth weight in human infants. Developmental Psychobiology: The Journal of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, 45(4), 221–230.  https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.20030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wilde, J., Apouey, B. H., & Jung, T. (2017). The effect of ambient temperature shocks during conception and early pregnancy on later life outcomes. European Economic Review, 97, 87–107.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2017.05.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yackerson, N., Piura, B., & Sheiner, E. (2008). The influence of meteorological factors on the emergence of preterm delivery and preterm premature rupture of membrane. Journal of Perinatology, 28(10), 707–711.  https://doi.org/10.1038/jp.2008.69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and FinanceYeungnam UniversityGyeongsanSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations