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Air Pollution Exposure and Covid-19

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew A Cole

    (University of Birmingham)

  • Ceren Ozgen

    () (University of Birmingham)

  • Eric Strobl

    (University of Bern)

Abstract

In light of the existing preliminary evidence of a link between Covid-19 and poor air quality, which is largely based upon correlations, we estimate the relationship between long term air pollution exposure and Covid-19 in 355 municipalities in the Netherlands. Using detailed secondary and administrative data we find compelling evidence of a positive relationship between air pollution, and particularly PM2:5 concentrations, and Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and deaths. This relationship persists after controlling for a wide range of explanatory variables. Our results indicate that a 1 ug/m3 increase in PM2:5 concentrations is associated with 9.4 more Covid-19 cases, 3.0 more hospital admissions, and 2.3 more deaths. The relationship between Covid-19 and air pollution withstands a number of sensitivity and robustness exercises including instrumenting pollution to mitigate potential endogeneity and modelling spatial spillovers using spatial econometric techniques.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew A Cole & Ceren Ozgen & Eric Strobl, 2020. "Air Pollution Exposure and Covid-19," Discussion Papers 20-13, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:20-13
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/20-13.pdf
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    Keywords

    Covid-19; air pollution; Netherlands; spatial spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • 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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