Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Economics (MSAE)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Bruce Wydick

Second Advisor

Jesse Anttila-Hughes


The relationship between heat and harmful outcomes is well documented, with research connecting various adverse economic outcomes to the climate. In the presence of increasing global warming and climate change, understanding why the climate leads to negative economic outcomes is essential for forming peaceful institutions of the future. We study how behavioral economic outcomes change in the presence of heat through a lab experiment involving 1,110 observations conducted in five different countries. This paper specifically focuses on the social preference outcome of spite. We find that increased time exposure to the treatment effect of heat is required to elicit an individual's spiteful behavior. Our results also suggest heterogeneity in this effect with a particular difference along gender and income consistency. We deploy novel methods to analyze heterogeneity using a machine-learning causal forest and Sorted Group Average Treatment Effect (GATES).