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Temperature and Creativity: Evidence from Computer Science Students in India

Researchers: Elizabeth Lyons (GPS), Teevrat Garg (GPS), and Maulik Jagnani (Cornell)
Location: India

The rise of development power engines of India and China have brought into focus the two major challenges of the 21st century—creating jobs for an expanding population, and combating climate change. While such emerging economies remain in transition, the challenge of economic inclusion is complicated by the increased automation of repetitive jobs. In this project, we propose to examine the effects of extreme temperatures in the short- and long-run on productivity in creative tasks. In particular, we intend to experimentally analyze the underlying mechanisms that govern this relationship, and whether managerial interventions can reduce productivity losses due to extreme temperatures.


A pilot study to determine the feasibility of the field experiments was undertaken at computer skill development centers in the Indian cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru, and New Delhi. Preliminary results are being written up.