Heat warnings and avoidance behavior: evidence from a bike sharing system

Mariano J. Rabassa, Mariana Conte Grand, Christian M. García-Witulski
Publicado en
Environmental Economics and Policy Studies

Governments throughout the globe usually implement early warning systems to prevent health-related costs from exposure to extreme heat. In a warming world, this type of information-provision approach is believed to be an effective way to deal with this natural hazard, even when there is little evidence of its influence on individuals’ behavior. Using detailed information from 1 million trips recorded by a bike-sharing system in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this paper investigates the direct behavioral impact of heat warnings on cycling trips. The results show substantial avoidance behavior for female cyclists and older users: the number of trips for those groups decreases following a heat warning. Alternative specifications for temperature and falsification tests suggest that the findings are robust. As in other studies, this paper also shows that the impact is diluted as time under alert increases.

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