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Study: Hotter temperatures hurt U.S. students

Students in a classroom
Students working on computers. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Hotter temperatures cut academic achievement by inhibiting cognitive skill development, but more air conditioning in schools can mitigate those harms, new research on U.S. students shows.

Why it matters: The findings on how heat lowers the "productivity of instructional time" provides new data points on the effect of higher temperatures on human welfare and performance. (The National Bureau of Economic Research circulated the paper on Monday, and it can be downloaded here.) It concludes that air conditioning's economic benefits far outweigh installation and operation costs.