Adapting to Heat: Evidence from the Texas Criminal Justice System


Using administrative criminal records from Texas, we show that heat increases crime in a heterogeneous way across neighborhoods with different housing and economic characteristics. The heterogeneity allows us to predict how effective certain forms of adaptation will be at reducing the impacts of climate change on criminal activity. Our simulations show adaptation reducing, but not completely offsetting, these impacts. Differential rates of adaptation across neighborhoods will likely exacerbate the consequences of already unequal exposure to climate change across society.

Working Paper