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The impact of temperature on manufacturing worker productivity: Evidence from personnel data

Xiqian Cai, Yi Lu () and Jin Wang

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 4, 889-905

Abstract: This paper presents novel evidence on the impact of temperature on daily indoor worker productivity in a non-climate-controlled manufacturing environment in China. Combining individual worker productivity data from personnel records with weather data, it documents an inverted-U shaped relationship between temperature and labor productivity. Workers do not increase avoidance behavior. The findings suggest that the economic loss from reduced manufacturing labor productivity due to ambient temperature is quantitatively important, providing new insights into the biological effects of climate factor on human labor. Further, back-of-the envelope calculations indicate that the estimated welfare gains from preventing extreme temperatures are substantial.

Keywords: Climate; Temperature; Thermal stress; Manufacturing; Labor productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J22 J24 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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