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In this paper the authors examine the impact of temperature on mortality in Mexico using daily data over the period 1998–2017.

They find that 3.8 per cent of deaths in Mexico are caused by sub-optimal temperature (26,000 every year). Specifically, 92 per cent of weather-related deaths are induced by cold (<12°C) or mildly cold (12–20°C) days and only 2 per cent by outstandingly hot days (>32°C). Furthermore, temperatures are 80 per cent more likely to kill people in the bottom half of the income distribution.

Finally, the authors show causal evidence that the Seguro Popular, a universal healthcare policy, has saved at least 1,600 lives per year from cold weather since 2004.

An earlier version of this paper was published with the title ‘Mortality inequality, temperature and public health provision: evidence from Mexico’ in May 2017 and a previous update under the current title in October 2019.

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