Working Papers

2016-21 | June 2017

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The Impact of Weather on Local Employment: Using Big Data on Small Places

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This paper exploits vast granular data – over 10 million county-industry-month observations – to estimate dynamic panel data models of weather’s short-run employment effects. I estimated the contemporaneous and cumulative effects of temperature, precipitation, snowfall, the frequency of very hot days, the frequency of very cold days, and natural disasters on private nonfarm employment growth. The short-run effects of weather vary considerably across sectors and regions. Favorable weather in one county has positive spillovers to nearby counties but negative spillovers to distant counties. Local climate mediates weather effects: economies are less sensitive to types of weather they are accustomed to.

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