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Self-protection investment exacerbates air pollution exposure inequality in urban China

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  • Sun, Cong
  • Kahn, Matthew E.
  • Zheng, Siqi

Abstract

Urban China's high level of ambient air pollution lowers quality of life and raises mortality risk. China's wealthy can purchase private products such as portable room air filters that offset some of their pollution exposure risk. Using a unique data set of Internet purchases, we document that households invest more in masks and air filter products when ambient pollution levels exceed key alert thresholds. Richer people are more likely to invest in air filters, which are much more expensive and more effective than masks. Our findings have implications for trends in quality of life inequality in urban China.

Suggested Citation

  • Sun, Cong & Kahn, Matthew E. & Zheng, Siqi, 2017. "Self-protection investment exacerbates air pollution exposure inequality in urban China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 468-474.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:131:y:2017:i:c:p:468-474
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.06.030
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Self Protection Against Air Pollution in Urban China
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2015-06-29 01:09:00
    2. A New Book on the Risks Caused by Climate Change
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2015-08-30 02:26:00
    3. Pollution Self Protection Investment in China and Quality of Life Inequality
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2016-12-28 20:27:00
    4. Rising Quality of Life Inequality in "Communist" China
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2017-01-16 22:51:00
    5. My New Hamilton Project Paper on Urban Climate Resilience
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2017-03-11 07:57:00
    6. The Economics of Pollution Exposure
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2017-06-09 22:07:00
    7. A Quick Summary of My Published Work in 2017
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2017-12-20 19:39:00
    8. The Dynamics of the Marginal Cost of Reducing Air Pollution in Beijing, China
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2018-01-15 22:09:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Weizeng Sun & Siqi Zheng & Yuming Fu, 2016. "Local Public Service Provision and Spatial Inequality in Chinese Cities," ERSA conference papers ersa16p799, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Matilde Giaccherini & Joanna Kopinska & Alessandro Palma, 2019. "When Particulate Matter Strikes Cities: Social Disparities and Health Costs of Air Pollution," CEIS Research Paper 467, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 04 Aug 2020.
    3. Chen, Xi & Zhang, Xiaobo & Zhang, Xin, 2017. "Smog in Our Brains: Gender Differences in the Impact of Exposure to Air Pollution on Cognitive Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 10628, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Matthew E. Kahn & Pei Li, 2019. "The Effect of Pollution and Heat on High Skill Public Sector Worker Productivity in China," NBER Working Papers 25594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Tong Liu & Guojun He & Alexis Lau, 2018. "Avoidance behavior against air pollution: evidence from online search indices for anti-PM2.5 masks and air filters in Chinese cities," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 20(2), pages 325-363, April.
    6. 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).
    7. Koichiro Ito & Shuang Zhang, 2020. "Willingness to Pay for Clean Air: Evidence from Air Purifier Markets in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(5), pages 1627-1672.
    8. 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.
    9. Panle Jia Barwick & Shanjun Li & Liguo Lin & Eric Zou, 2019. "From Fog to Smog: the Value of Pollution Information," NBER Working Papers 26541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Siqi Zheng & Xiaonan Zhang & Weizeng Sun & Chengtao Lin, 2019. "Air pollution and elite college graduates’ job location choice: evidence from China," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 63(2), pages 295-316, October.
    11. Qin, Yu & Wu, Jing & Yan, Jubo, 2019. "Negotiating housing deal on a polluted day: Consequences and possible explanations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 161-187.
    12. Yu Qin & Hongjia Zhu, 2018. "Run away? Air pollution and emigration interests in China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 235-266, January.
    13. Williams, Austin M., 2019. "Understanding the micro-determinants of defensive behaviors against pollution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 42-51.
    14. Ouyang, Xiaoling & Zhuang, Wuxu & Sun, Chuanwang, 2019. "Haze, health, and income: An integrated model for willingness to pay for haze mitigation in Shanghai, China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    15. Pan, Dan & Zhang, Ning, 2018. "The Role of Agricultural Training on Fertilizer Use Knowledge: A Randomized Controlled Experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 77-91.
    16. Glenn Althor & Bradd Witt, 2020. "A quantitative systematic review of distributive environmental justice literature: a rich history and the need for an enterprising future," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 10(1), pages 91-103, March.
    17. Tan-Soo, Jie-Sheng & Qin, Ping & Zhang, Xiao-Bing, 2018. "Power stations emissions externalities from avoidance behaviors towards air pollution: Evidence from Beijing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 336-345.
    18. Shao, Shuai & Tian, Zhihua & Fan, Meiting, 2018. "Do the rich have stronger willingness to pay for environmental protection? New evidence from a survey in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 83-94.
    19. Li, Qianwen & Long, Ruyin & Chen, Hong, 2018. "Differences and influencing factors for Chinese urban resident willingness to pay for green housings: Evidence from five first-tier cities in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 229(C), pages 299-313.
    20. Chen, Xi & Zhang, Xiaobo & Zhang, Xin, 2017. "Smog in our brains: Gender differences in the impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance in China," IFPRI discussion papers 1619, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    21. Alessandro Fiori Maccioni, 2018. "Environmental depletion, defensive consumption and negative externalities," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 41(2), pages 203-218, November.
    22. Feiyu Chen & Hong Chen & Jiahui Yang & Ruyin Long & Qianwen Li, 2018. "Impact of Information Intervention on the Recycling Behavior of Individuals with Different Value Orientations—An Experimental Study on Express Delivery Packaging Waste," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-20, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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