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Washington, DC
Africa | Ghana
2022-11-01T15:48:58Z | 2022-11-01T15:48:58Z | 2022-06

In this paper, authors assess the economic impacts of increased heat stress in humans in Ghana. As mean global temperatures increase, human capacity for manual labor is affected, particularly in activities with sun exposure such as agriculture and construction. This aspect of climate change is not well-studied, but, as this report will show, this is an important omission, particularly in regions where (i) heat and humidity are already high, (ii) there is high reliance on outdoor, manual labor, and (iii) a significant portion of the population is poor. The effects of heat stress and the resulting losses of labor capacity in such regions can cause large losses of output and GDP. These losses are likely to occur unevenly, affecting certain areas and economic sectors more than others. Some types of poor households (HH) are also likely to be disproportionately affected, especially those close to the poverty line if they earn large portions of their income from their labor and own few productive assets. The authors present projections of heat stress and labor capacity losses at high spatial resolution to identify the areas within Ghana that are most at risk. The authors then assess the economic impacts for 65 different sectors of the economy. The authors can therefore identify, with a high degree of specificity, both the locations and the economic activities that are in danger of experiencing the largest heat stress-induced labor capacity losses, and losses of output and value addition. The poverty impacts of human heat stress in Ghana are also assessed, disaggregated to identify the HH types that are more likely to be pushed into poverty.


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