Sefa Kwami Awaworyi Churchill on Temperature, climate change and household financial behaviour: evidence from Vietnam

WIDER Seminar Series

Sefa Kwami Awaworyi Churchill on Temperature, climate change and household financial behaviour: evidence from Vietnam

Sefa Kwami Awaworyi Churchill presents at the WIDER Seminar Series on 14 June 2023.

Temperature, climate change and household financial behaviour: evidence from Vietnam


We examine the impact of temperature shocks and climate change on household financial behaviour in Vietnam. To do so, we first estimate the effect of temperature on household borrowing and savings using Vietnamese longitudinal data that matches satellite re-analysis temperature data with household information over the period 2008 to 2016. We find that an additional day with an average temperature greater than 30oC, relative to the number of days in the 18-22oC range, is associated with a 6.3 percent decrease in household savings and 1.4 percent increase in household borrowing. In the case of household savings, we find that the effects of temperature shocks are more pronounced on informal savings than formal savings. Further, total agricultural production and rice production are mechanisms through which temperature shocks influence household savings and borrowing. Specifically, by reducing the level of agricultural productivity, (hot) temperature shocks decrease household savings and increase household borrowing. 

About the presenter

Sefa Churchill is Professor of Economics at the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Australia. He is also Director of the Centre for International Development at RMIT University. As an applied economist, his inter-disciplinary research focuses on development and energy economics. He has published over 120 books, book chapters and journal articles in a wide range of fields and is recognized as one of Australia’s leading economists and social scientists. In 2020 and 2021, he was named by The Australian among Australia’s top 40 young researchers and top 5 in the broad field of social science. RePEc also ranks him among the top 10 economists in Australia over the last decade. Sefa has been the recipient of a number of prestigious academic research awards and grants including grants from the Australian Research Council and an Endeavour Fellowship Award, a government scheme which allows Australia’s highest performing researchers to conduct research in alignment with the government’s strategic priorities. He serves as associate editor for Energy Economics and Energy Research & Social Science, which are two leading journals in the field of energy and environmental economics.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases the latest research on key topics in development economics. It provides a forum for senior and early-career researchers, both in-house and external, to present recent and ongoing work related to UNU-WIDER’s current work programme.

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