Mortality, Temperature, and Public Health Provision: Evidence from Mexico
- American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
We examine the impact of temperature on mortality in Mexico using daily data over the period
1998–2017 and find that 3.8 percent of deaths in Mexico are caused by suboptimal temperature
(26,000 every year). However, 92 percent of weather-related deaths are induced by cold
(<12°C) or mildly cold (12–20°C) days and only 2 percent by outstandingly hot days (>32°C).
Furthermore, temperatures are twice more likely to kill people in the bottom half of the income
distribution. Finally, we show causal evidence that the Seguro Popular, a universal healthcare
policy, has saved at least 1,600 lives per year from cold weather since 2004.
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