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The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity

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  • Joshua Graff Zivin
  • Matthew Neidell

Abstract

This paper assesses the impact of pollution on worker productivity by relating exogenous daily variations in ozone with productivity of agricultural workers as recorded under piece rate contracts. We find robust evidence that ozone levels well below federal air quality standards have a significant impact on productivity. These results suggest that, in contrast to common characterizations of environmental protection as a tax on producers, environmental protection can also be viewed as an investment in human capital, and thus a tool for promoting economic growth.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.7.3652
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec2012/20110533_data.zip
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 (December)
Pages: 3652-73

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:7:p:3652-73

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.7.3652
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References

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  1. Orana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Paarsch, Harry J. & Shearer, Bruce, 1996. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects: Statistical Evidence from Payroll Records," Cahiers de recherche 9623, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  3. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact Of Air Pollution On Infant Mortality: Evidence From Geographic Variation In Pollution Shocks Induced By A Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167, August.
  4. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew J. Neidell, 2010. "Temperature and the Allocation of Time: Implications for Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 15717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Harry J. Paarsch & Bruce S. Shearer, 1999. "The Response of Worker Effort to Piece Rates: Evidence from the British Columbia Tree-Planting Industry," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 643-667.
  6. Alan Barreca, 2009. "Climate Change, Humidity, and Mortality in the United States," Working Papers 0906, Tulane University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
  7. Richard Carson & Phoebe Koundouri & Celine Nauges, . "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach," DEOS Working Papers 1130, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  8. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2005. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn from California's Recent Experience?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1003-1030, August.
  9. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  10. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2006. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," NBER Technical Working Papers 0327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Maximilian Auffhammer & Ryan Kellogg, 2011. "Clearing the Air? The Effects of Gasoline Content Regulation on Air Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2687-2722, October.
  12. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 417-458.
  13. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  14. Matthew Neidell, 2009. "Information, Avoidance Behavior, and Health: The Effect of Ozone on Asthma Hospitalizations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  15. Jerry A. Hausman & Bart D. Ostro & David A. Wise, 1984. "Air Pollution and Lost Work," NBER Working Papers 1263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rema Hanna & Paulina Oliva, 2011. "The Effect of Pollution on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Mexico City," NBER Working Papers 17302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Ostro, Bart D., 1983. "The effects of air pollution on work loss and morbidity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 371-382, December.
  18. Hong H. & Chernozhukov V., 2002. "Three-Step Censored Quantile Regression and Extramarital Affairs," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 872-882, September.
  19. Shi Lan, 2010. "Incentive Effect of Piece-Rate Contracts: Evidence from Two Small Field Experiments," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-34, July.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Pollution has an impact on worker productivity
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-06-08 14:58:00
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Cited by:
  1. Marion Drut & Aurélie MAHIEUX, 2014. "Correcting agglomeration economies: How air pollution matters," Working Papers hal-01007019, HAL.
  2. Esther Duflo & Michael Greenstone & Rohini Pande & Nicholas Ryan, 2013. "Truth-telling by Third-party Auditors and the Response of Polluting Firms: Experimental Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 19259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nathalie Mathieu-Bolh & Xavier Pautrel, 2014. "Environmental taxation, health and the life-cycle," Working Papers hal-00990256, HAL.
  4. Stéphane Hallegatte & Geoffrey Heal & Marianne Fay & David Treguer, 2012. "From Growth to Green Growth - a Framework," NBER Working Papers 17841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gibson, Matthew, 2014. "Dirty and perverse: regulation-induced pollution substitution," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6tn7t0wv, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. Jans, Jenny & Johansson, Per & Nilsson, J Peter, 2014. "Economic Status, Air Quality, and Child Health: Evidence from Inversion Episodes," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2014:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2014.
  7. Stefano Bosi & David Desmarchelier & Lionel Ragot, 2014. "Pollution effects on labor supply and growth," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-34, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  8. Nicolas R. Ziebarth & Maike Schmitt & Martin Karlsson, 2014. "The Short-Term Population Health Effects of Weather and Pollution: Implications of Climate Change," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 646, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  9. David Desmarchelier, 2013. "Effect of pollution on the total factor productivity and the Hopf bifurcation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2328-2339.
  10. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 689-730, September.
  11. Michael Jacobs, 2012. "Green Growth: Economic Theory and Political Discourse," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 92, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  12. Tom Chang & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Tal Gross & Matthew J. Neidell, 2014. "Particulate Pollution and the Productivity of Pear Packers," NBER Working Papers 19944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Fernando Aragon & Juan Pablo Rud, 2012. "Mining, Pollution and Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Ghana," Discussion Papers dp12-08, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.

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  1. Economic Logic blog
  2. The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity (AER 2012) in ReplicationWiki

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