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Climate Change and Labor Reallocation: Evidence from Six Decades of the Indian Census

November 25, 2021

Kuala Lumpur Research Seminar Series

  • How do rising temperatures affect long-term labor reallocation in developing economies? In this paper, we examine how increases in temperature impact structural transformation and urbanization within Indian districts between 1951 and 2011. We find that rising temperatures are associated with lower shares of workers in non-agriculture, with effects intensifying over a longer time frame. Supporting evidence suggests that local demand effects play an important role: declining agricultural productivity under higher temperatures reduces the demand for non-agricultural goods and services, which subsequently lowers nonagricultural labor demand. Our results illustrate that rising temperatures limit sectoral and rural-urban mobility for isolated households.

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  • Yogita Shamdasani is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the National University of Singapore. Prior to joining NUS, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Yogita holds a PhD in Economics from Columbia University and a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Cornell University. Her research interests are in the fields of development and labor economics. She uses field and natural experiments to study the causes and consequences of labor market frictions in developing countries, as well as to explore constraints to labor productivity. 


  • WHEN (KUALA LUMPUR TIME): Thursday, November 25, 2021: 9:00 -10:00am
  • WHEN (ET/WASHINGTON, D.C. TIME): Wednesday, November 24, 2021: 8:00 – 9:00pm