Does Extreme Weather Drive Interregional Brain Drain in the U.S.? Evidence from a Sorting Model

Qin Fan, H. Allen Klaiber and Karen Fisher-Vanden


Previous studies have identified mean temperature as an important factor in household location choice, but no study has measured the impact of extreme weather on U.S. interregional brain drain. We estimate a residential sorting model to examine the effects of extreme weather on heterogeneous household location choices across the United States. We find that college graduates are more sensitive to extreme temperatures and are willing to pay more than other demographic groups to avoid hot weather. In light of predicted increases in extreme heat days in the West and Southwest, these areas may be at risk of significant human capital loss. (JEL Q51, Q54)

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