Weather and Maternal Mortality

Katherine Keisler , University of Texas at Austin

This paper produces the first econometric estimates of the relationship in the U.S. between temperature and maternal mortality. Exploiting the year-to-year variation in temperature within states, I use a semi-parametic estimation strategy to capture non-linear effects in mortality risks at extreme temperatures. Using wet bulb temperatures, a metric which accounts for both temperature and humidity, this analysis shows that an additional day with an average wet bulb temperature above of 80F is associated with roughly 2.2 additional maternal deaths per 100,000 births. These estimates suggest that excess maternal mortality associated with very hot days due to climate change may be as high as 3,859 deaths per year by 2090.

See paper

 Presented in Session 176. Pollution and Birth Outcomes