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Indoor air quality and academic performance

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  • Stafford, Tess M.

Abstract

I examine the effect of school indoor air quality (IAQ) on academic outcomes. I utilize a quasi-natural experiment, in which IAQ-renovations were completed at virtually every school in a single Texas school district at different points in time, combined with a panel of student-level data to control for many confounding factors and thereby uncover the causal effect of IAQ-renovations on academic outcomes. Results indicate that performance on standardized tests significantly improves while attendance is unresponsive to improvements in IAQ. Rough calculations suggest that IAQ-renovations may be a more cost-effective way to improve standardized test scores than class size reductions.

Suggested Citation

  • Stafford, Tess M., 2015. "Indoor air quality and academic performance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 34-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:70:y:2015:i:c:p:34-50
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2014.11.002
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Fresh air is better for learning
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-12-05 22:20:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Rivera, Nathaly M., 2017. "The Effectiveness of Temporary Driving Restrictions: Evidence from Air Pollution, Vehicle Flows, and Mass-Transit Users in Santiago," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 259182, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. 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).
    3. Williams, Niall & Zhang, Wei, 2016. "The Effects of Air Pollution on Education and Human Capital: Evidence from Prefecture-Level Cities in China," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236034, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Marcotte, Dave E., 2017. "Something in the air? Air quality and children's educational outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 141-151.
    5. Evan Herrnstadt & Erich Muehlegger, 2015. "Air Pollution and Criminal Activity: Evidence from Chicago Microdata," NBER Working Papers 21787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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).
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Pinchbeck, Edward W. & Roth, Sefi & Szumilo, Nikodem & Vanino, Enrico, 2020. "The Price of Indoor Air Pollution: Evidence from Radon Maps and the Housing Market," IZA Discussion Papers 13655, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. 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.
    11. Joshua S. Goodman & Michael Hurwitz & Jisung Park & Jonathan Smith, 2018. "Heat and Learning," CESifo Working Paper Series 7291, CESifo.
    12. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Le, Huong Thu & Connelly, Luke B., 2019. "Weather and children’s time allocation," MPRA Paper 94442, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Sefi Roth, 2017. "Air pollution, educational achievements, and human capital formation," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 381-381, August.
    14. Weibing Li & Kaixia Zhang, 2019. "Does Air Pollution Crowd Out Foreign Direct Investment Inflows? Evidence from a Quasi-natural Experiment in China," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 73(4), pages 1387-1414, August.
    15. 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).
    16. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2015. "Oscillations in a Growth Model with Capital, Technology and Environment with Exogenous Shocks," Academicus International Scientific Journal, Entrepreneurship Training Center Albania, issue 12, pages 73-93, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indoor air pollution; Academic performance; Human capital; School environment; School facilities;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • 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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