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Killer Cities: Past and Present

Author

Listed:
  • W. Walker Hanlon
  • Yuan Tian

Abstract

The industrial cities of the 19th century were incredibly unhealthy places to live. How much progress has been made in reducing these negative health effects over the past 150 years? To help answer this question, we compare mortality patterns in 19th century England to those in Chinese urban areas in 2000. We document that substantial improvements have been made in improving health in cities over this period. Unlike historical English cities, large cities in China have lower mortality than less populated areas. However, we also provide evidence that in China a substantial relationship between industrial pollution and mortality remains.

Suggested Citation

  • W. Walker Hanlon & Yuan Tian, 2015. "Killer Cities: Past and Present," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 570-575, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:5:p:570-75
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151071
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Greenstone & Rema Hanna, 2014. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3038-3072, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Clay, Karen & Lewis, Joshua & Severnini, Edson R., 2016. "Canary in a Coal Mine: Infant Mortality, Property Values, and Tradeoffs Associated with Mid-20th Century Air Pollution," IZA Discussion Papers 9884, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Guidetti, Bruna & Pereda, Paula & Severnini, Edson R., 2020. "Health Shocks under Hospital Capacity Constraint: Evidence from Air Pollution in Sao Paulo, Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 13211, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Bailey, Roy E. & Hatton, Timothy J. & Inwood, Kris, 2016. "Atmospheric Pollution and Child Health in Late Nineteenth Century Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 10428, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Jonathan J Adams, 2017. "Urbanization, Long-Run Growth, and the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 001001, University of Florida, Department of Economics.
    5. W. Walker Hanlon, 2015. "Pollution and Mortality in the 19th Century," NBER Working Papers 21647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2017. "A New Era of Pollution Progress in Urban China?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 71-92, Winter.
    7. Pueyo, Salvador, 2020. "Jevons' paradox and a tax on aviation to prevent the next pandemic," SocArXiv vb5q3, Center for Open Science.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • 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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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