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Days of Haze: Environmental Information Disclosure and Intertemporal Avoidance Behavior

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  • Joshua Graff Zivin
  • Matthew Neidell

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the dynamics of informational regulatory approaches by analyzing the impact of smog alerts issued on consecutive days on discretionary outdoor activities in Southern California. Short-run adjustments to transitory risk entail costs that are likely to influence the set of evasive actions pursued by those at risk. Our results confirm that the cost of intertemporally substituting activities is increasing over time: when alerts are issued on two successive days, any response on the first day has largely disappeared by the second day. Small reprieves from alerts, however, reset these costs. Our findings imply that a time-varying decision rule that accounts for multiple day air quality forecasts may improve social welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14271.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Publication status: published as Graff Zivin, Joshua & Neidell, Matthew, 2009. "Days of haze: Environmental information disclosure and intertemporal avoidance behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 119-128, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14271

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  1. David S. Lee & David Card, 2006. "Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2003. "The Effect Of Information On Product Quality: Evidence From Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 409-451, May.
  3. John Mullahy, 1998. "It'll Only Hurt a Second? Microeconomic Determinants of Who Gets Flu Shots," NBER Working Papers 6500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Timothy K.M. Beatty & Jay P. Shimshack & Michael B. Ward, 2005. "Are Mercury Advisories Effective? Information, Education, and Fish Consumption," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0502, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  5. Smith, V Kerry & Johnson, F Reed, 1988. "How Do Risk Perceptions Respond to Information? The Case of Radon," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 1-8, February.
  6. 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).
  7. Bresnahan, B.W. & Dickie, M. & Gerking, S.D., 1997. "Averting behavior and urban air pollution," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4628502, Tilburg University.
  8. Avner Ahituv & V. Joseph Hotz & Tomas Philipson, 1996. "The Responsiveness of the Demand for Condoms to the Local Prevalence of AIDS," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 869-897.
  9. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1986. "Informational Regulation of Consumer Health Risks: An Empirical Evaluation of Hazard Warnings," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 351-365, Autumn.
  10. Tomas Philipson, 1996. "Private Vaccination and Public Health: An Empirical Examination for U.S. Measles," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 611-630.
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Cited by:
  1. Santiago Guerrero, 2012. "Who is Selling You Chiquilitros of Gasoline? Evidence From a Public Disclosure Policy," Working Papers 2012-04, Banco de México.
  2. Christopher R. Knittel & Douglas L. Miller & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2011. "Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health," Working Papers 1113, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  3. Timo Goeschl & Ole Jürgens, 2012. "Environmental quality and welfare effects of improving the reporting capability of citizen monitoring schemes," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 264-286, December.
  4. Arik Levinson, 2009. "Valuing Public Goods Using Happiness Data: The Case of Air Quality," Working Papers gueconwpa~09-09-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Janet Currie & Joshua Graff Zivin & Katherine Meckel & Matthew Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2013. "Something in the water: contaminated drinking water and infant health," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(3), pages 791-810, August.
  8. Steven Sexton, 2012. "Paying for Pollution? How General Equilibrium Effects Undermine the “Spare the Air” Program," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(4), pages 553-575, December.

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