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Does Air Pollution Affect Consumption Behavior? Evidence from Korean Retail Sales

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  • Hyunju Kang
  • Hyunduk Suh
  • Jongmin Yu

Abstract

Using monthly regional panel data on air quality and large retail store sales in Korea, we empirically examine the effect of air pollution on retail sales. We account for regional heterogeneity in air pollution and control for various macroeconomic and climatic factors that can affect retail sales. We also use the air quality indicator in the west coastal islands (affected by trans‐border pollution but uncorrelated with the economic activity in the mainland) as an instrumental variable. The estimation results show that, in general, 1 additional day of PM10 level higher than 80 μg/m3 reduces monthly retail sales by approximately 0.1 percent. Nonetheless, an adaptive pattern emerges over time, particularly when the level of air pollution in the previous month was severe.

Suggested Citation

  • Hyunju Kang & Hyunduk Suh & Jongmin Yu, 2019. "Does Air Pollution Affect Consumption Behavior? Evidence from Korean Retail Sales," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 235-251, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:33:y:2019:i:3:p:235-251
    DOI: 10.1111/asej.12185
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • 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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