University of Oulu

Marko Korhonen, Suvi Kangasraasio and Rauli Svento (2019) "Do people adapt to climate change? Evidence from the industrialized countries", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 54-71. DOI:

Do people adapt to climate change? : evidence from the industrialized countries

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Author: Korhonen, Marko1; Kangasraasio, Suvi1; Svento, Rauli1
Organizations: 1School of Economics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-07-08


Purpose: This study aims to explore the link between mortality and climate change. The focus is in particular on individuals’ adaptation to temperature changes. The authors analyze the relationship between climatic change (measured by temperature rate) and mortality in 23 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries during 1970–2010.

Design/methodology/approach: This study performs the adaptation regression model in the level form as a dynamic panel fixed effects model. The authors use a non-linear threshold estimation approach to examine the extreme temperature changes effect on the temperature–mortality relation. More specifically, the study explores whether the large increases/decreases in temperature rates affect mortality rates more than the modest changes.

Findings: This study indicates that the temperature–mortality relation is significant in early part of the sample period (before 1990) but insignificant during the second part (after 1990). After including controlling factors, as well as nation and year fixed effects, the authors provide evidence that people do adapt to the most of the temperature-related mortalities. Also, this study provides evidence of the non-linear relationship between national temperatures and mortality rates. It is observed that only after 5 per cent increase in the annual temperature, the relation between temperature and overall mortality is significant.

Originality/value: Most studies cover only one specific country, hence making it difficult to generalize across countries. Therefore, the authors argue that the best estimation of the health effects of temperature change can be found by modeling the past relationships between temperature and mortality across countries for a relatively long period. To the authors’ knowledge, previous studies have not systemically tested the adaptation effect across countries.

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Series: International journal of climate change strategies and management
ISSN: 1756-8692
ISSN-E: 1756-8706
ISSN-L: 1756-8692
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Pages: 54 - 71
DOI: 10.1108/IJCCSM-05-2017-0119
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Copyright information: © 2019, Marko Korhonen, Suvi Kangasraasio and Rauli Svento. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at