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SITE Seminar | Climate change and political participation: Evidence from India

Welcome to the next SITE Seminar! On 16 April, Prof. Irma Clots-Figueras from University of Kent will present her working paper entitled "Climate change and political participation: Evidence from India" at SSE and online via Zoom.

Working paper title: Climate change and political participation: Evidence from India

By: Amrit AmirapuIrma Clots-FiguerasJuan Pablo Rud


We study the effects of extreme temperature shocks on political participation using data from Indian elections between 2009 and 2017. Taking advantage of localized, high-frequency data on land surface temperatures, we find that areas with greater cumulative exposure to extreme temperatures experience an increase in voter turnout and a change in the composition of the pool of candidates who stand for election. As a consequence, electoral outcomes are affected. We provide evidence that our results are driven by the negative effect of climate change on agricultural productivity. First, we show that the results are strongest in areas with a larger rural population. Second, we show that there is a non-monotonic relationship between temperatures and turnout which closely mirrors the relationship between temperatures and agricultural productivity. We also find that, following temperature shocks, winning candidates are more likely to have an agricultural background. Finally, we show that politicians with an agricultural background invest more in irrigation, which mitigates the effects of high temperatures, on both agricultural production and on turnout. Our paper provides new evidence about the ways in which political agents in developing countries (including both voters and candidates) may respond to climate change via political channels.

About the speaker

Irma Clots-Figueras is a Professor of Economics at the University of Kent. Click on "Expand" below to learn more.

She was previously at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Her research interests include Development Economics, Labor Economics, Migration, Cultural Economics, and Political Economy. In 2019 she was awarded the Sabadell-Herrero Prize for the Best Young Spanish Economist. She received her PhD from the London School of Economics in 2006.

Learn more about the speaker >>

Interested in attending the SITE Seminar at SSE or online via Zoom?

The link to the seminar will be distributed by invitation only. If you are interested in attending the seminar – please contact site@hhs.se. Follow the instructions below:

  • Type the subject box with “SITE seminar *INSERT SEMINAR TITLE*”
  • Indicate your affiliation and field of interest
  • Please also indicate if you want to attend in person or online

For registered applicants, a Zoom link will be provided prior to the event via email with further instructions.

Photo: LukeOnTheRoad, Shutterstock


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