Economics at your fingertips  

Upside-Down Down-Under: Cold Temperatures Reduce Learning in Australia

David Johnston (), Rachel Knott, Silvia Mendolia and Peter Siminski

Economics of Education Review, 2021, vol. 85, issue C

Abstract: Understanding how variation in weather and climate conditions impact productivity, performance and learning is of crucial economic importance. Recently, studies have established that high temperatures negatively impact cognition and educational outcomes in several countries around the world. We add to this literature by analysing test scores from a national assessment of Australian children aged between 8 and 15 years. Using comparable methods to previous studies, we find that high temperatures in the year prior to the test do not worsen performance. In fact, we find the opposite: additional cold days significantly reduce test scores. Moreover, the effect appears cumulative, with cold school days 1–2 years prior also having a negative effect. This seemingly contradictory finding is consistent with a literature which finds that people living in warm regions tend to inadequately protect themselves from cold temperatures, meaning they are susceptible to cold weather shocks. These results are also consistent with concerns about potentially harmful effects of unflued gas heaters in schools. More generally, we demonstrate that effects of weather conditions are context specific.

Keywords: Learning; Test scores; Weather; Climate; Australia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J24 J54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Upside-Down Down-Under: Cold Temperatures Reduce Learning in Australia (2021) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102172

Access Statistics for this article

Economics of Education Review is currently edited by E. Cohn

More articles in Economics of Education Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2023-03-26
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:85:y:2021:i:c:s027277572100090x