Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Bruce Wydick


Recent literature has highlighted the effects of temperature on economic outcomes and violence in humans, on both the interpersonal and intergroup levels: as temperatures rise, humans are more likely to exhibit increased aggression and agitation. However, little research has been done on how pro-social behaviors like cooperation and altruism among humans might respond to increased temperatures. As extreme heat events increase in frequency, will humans and communities work together in the face of adverse shocks and crises? Leveraging experimental data collected randomized controlled trails held in 4 locations across the world, this paper seeks to establish a relationship between thermal stress and altruistic behaviors. Additionally, we examine whether a trigger, in this case loss in a competition over a shared resource, has any effect on altruism when interacted with extreme heat. Using a linear probability model, we find that there is little evidence for a link between altruism and thermal stress.