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Growth, Pollution, and Life Expectancy: China from 1991-2012

Author

Listed:
  • Avraham Ebenstein
  • Maoyong Fan
  • Michael Greenstone
  • Guojun He
  • Peng Yin
  • Maigeng Zhou

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between income, pollution, and mortality in China from 1991-2012. Using first-difference models, we document a robust positive association between city-level GDP and life expectancy. We also find a negative association between city-level particulate air pollution exposure and life expectancy that is driven by elevated cardiorespiratory mortality rates. The results suggest that while China's unprecedented economic growth over the last two decades is associated with health improvements, pollution has served as a countervailing force.

Suggested Citation

  • Avraham Ebenstein & Maoyong Fan & Michael Greenstone & Guojun He & Peng Yin & Maigeng Zhou, 2015. "Growth, Pollution, and Life Expectancy: China from 1991-2012," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 226-231, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:5:p:226-31
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151094
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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