Measuring welfare loss caused by air pollution in Europe: A CGE analysis
To evaluate the socio-economic impacts of air pollution, we develop an integrated approach based on computable general equilibrium (CGE). Applying our approach to 18 western European countries shows that even there, where air quality is relatively high compared with other parts of the world, health-related damages caused by air pollution may be substantial. We estimate that as of 2005, Europe experienced an annual loss in consumption of about 220 billion Euro in year 2000 prices (about 3% of total consumption) with a range based on 95% high and low epidemiological response functions of 107-335 billion Euro and a total welfare loss of about 370 billion Euro (range of 209-550) including both consumption and broader welfare losses (around 2% of welfare level) due to the accumulated effects of three decades of air pollution in Europe. In addition, we estimate that a set of air quality improvement policy scenarios as proposed in the 2005 CAFE program would bring 18 European countries as a whole a welfare gain of 37-49 billion Euro (year 2000 prices) in year 2020 alone.
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