For whom the bell tolls: Climate change and income inequality

Serhan Cevik, João Tovar Jalles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time with complex and evolving dynamics. The effects of climate change on economic output and financial stability have received considerable attention, but there has been much less focus on the relationship between climate change and income inequality. In this paper, we provide new evidence on the association between climate change and income inequality, using a large panel of 158 countries during the period 1995–2019. We find that an increase in climate change vulnerability is positively associated with rising income inequality. More interestingly, splitting the sample into country groups reveals a considerable contrast in the impact of climate change on income inequality. While climate change vulnerability has no statistically significant effect on income distribution in advanced economies, the coefficient on climate change vulnerability is seven times greater and statistically highly significant in the case of developing countries due largely to weaker capacity for climate change adaptation and mitigation. These findings are robust with alternative estimation methods and measures of income inequality, but it should be noted that the appropriate measurement of climate change vulnerability and resilience remains a challenge that imposes limits on empirical analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113475
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume174
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Income inequality
  • Resilience
  • Vulnerability

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