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Straw burning, PM2.5, and death: Evidence from China

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  • He, Guojun
  • Liu, Tong
  • Zhou, Maigeng

Abstract

This study uses satellite data to detect agricultural straw burning and estimates its impact on air pollution and health in China. We find that straw burning increases particulate matter pollution and causes people to die from cardiorespiratory diseases. We estimate that a 10 ​μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 increases mortality by 3.25%. Middle-aged and old people in rural areas are particularly sensitive to straw burning pollution. Exploratory analysis of China’s programs to subsidize straw recycling suggests that extending these programs to all the straw burning regions would bring about a health benefit that is an order of magnitude larger than the cost.

Suggested Citation

  • He, Guojun & Liu, Tong & Zhou, Maigeng, 2020. "Straw burning, PM2.5, and death: Evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:145:y:2020:i:c:s0304387820300432
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2020.102468
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    Cited by:

    1. Guojun He & Yuhang Pan & Takanao Tanaka, 2020. "COVID-19, City Lockdowns, And Air Pollution: Evidence from China," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2020-72, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Mar 2020.
    2. Fan, Maoyong & He, Guojun & Zhou, Maigeng, 2020. "The winter choke: Coal-Fired heating, air pollution, and mortality in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    3. Ma, Yuanyuan & Nolan, Anne & Smith, James P., 2020. "Free GP care and psychological health: Quasi-experimental evidence from Ireland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    4. Graff Zivin, Joshua & Liu, Tong & Song, Yingquan & Tang, Qu & Zhang, Peng, 2020. "The unintended impacts of agricultural fires: Human capital in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    5. Colmer, Jonathan & Lin, Dajun & Liu, Siying & Shimshack, Jay, 2020. "Why are pollution damages lower in developed countries? Insights from high income, high-particulate matter Hong Kong," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108466, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Colmer, Jonathan & Lin, Dajun & Liu, Siying & Shimshack, Jay, 2021. "Why are pollution damages lower in developed countries? Insights from high-Income, high-particulate matter Hong Kong," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    7. Meghana Agarwala & Shampa Bhattacharjee & Aparajita Dasgupta, 2021. "Unintended Consequences of Indian Groundwater Preservation Law on Crop Residue Burning," Working Papers 61, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    8. Hou, Bingdong & Zhang, Lingyue & Ai, Xianneng & Li, Hui, 2021. "Impact of city gas on mortality in China: National and regional estimates," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    9. Lin, Yi-Li & Zheng, Nai-Yun & Lin, Ching-Shi, 2021. "Repurposing Washingtonia filifera petiole and Sterculia foetida follicle waste biomass for renewable energy through torrefaction," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 223(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Straw burning; Stubble burning; Air pollution; Mortality; Straw recycling;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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