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The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity

  • Joshua Graff Zivin
  • Matthew Neidell

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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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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  1. 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.
  2. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1998. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 6826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hanna, Rema & Oliva, Paulina, 2015. "The effect of pollution on labor supply: Evidence from a natural experiment in Mexico City," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 68-79.
  4. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller & Doug Miller, 2009. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," Working Papers 98, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:3:p:917-962 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2014. "Temperature and the Allocation of Time: Implications for Climate Change," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1 - 26.
  10. Alan Barreca, 2009. "Climate Change, Humidity, and Mortality in the United States," Working Papers 0906, Tulane University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
  11. 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.
  12. Paarsch, Harry J & Shearer, Bruce, 2000. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects: Statistical Evidence from Payroll Records," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 59-92, February.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:3:p:1121-1167 is not listed on IDEAS
  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.
  20. 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.
  21. repec:oup:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:3:p:1003-1030 is not listed on IDEAS
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  1. The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity (AER 2012) in ReplicationWiki
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