Journal Article

The impact of climate on life satisfaction

Ecological Economies, 70 (11): 2437-2445 Download PDF

We analyse the influence of climate on average life satisfaction in 79 countries using data from the World Values Survey. Climate is described in terms of ‘degree-months’ calculated as the cumulated monthly deviations from a base temperature of 65 °F (18.3 °C). Our results suggest that countries with climates characterised by a large number of degree-months enjoy significantly lower levels of life satisfaction. This finding is robust to a wide variety of model specifications. Using our results to analyse a particular climate change scenario associated with the IPCC A2 emissions scenario points to major losses for African countries, but modest gains for Northern Europe.


David Maddison
Katrin Rehdanz - Kiel Institute
Katrin Rehdanz


Publication Date
JEL Classification
D60, H41, I31, Q51, Q54

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