Using novel weekly mortality data for London spanning 1866-1965, we analyze the changing relationship between temperature and mortality as the city developed. Our main results show that warm weeks led to elevated mortality in the late nineteenth century, mainly due to infant deaths from digestive diseases. However, this pattern largely disappeared after WWI as infant digestive diseases became less prevalent. The resulting change in the temperature-mortality relationship meant that thousands of heat-related deaths-equal to 0.9-1.4 percent of all deaths-were averted. These findings show that improving the disease environment can dramatically alter the impact of high temperature on mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)