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The Social Cost of the Health Effects of Motor-Vehicle Air Pollution

  • McCubbin, Donald R.
  • Delucchi, Mark A.
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    Motor vehicles and their related emission sources, such as petroleum refineries, emit many different kinds of air pollutants, which affect human health in a variety of ways. These health effects create a large economic cost to society. In this report, we estimate the social cost of many of the health effects of motor-vehicle air pollution. The relationship between changes in emissions related to motor-vehicle use and changes in health welfare (measured in dollars) can be modeled in three steps: 1) relate changes in emissions to changes in air quality; 2) relate changes in air quality to changes in physical health effects; and 3) relate changes in physical health effects to changes in economic welfare. We have made a detailed model of this sort to estimate the cost of the health effects of motor-vehicle air pollution1. We estimate the human-health cost of motor-vehicle air pollution in the entire U.S., in urban areas of the U.S., in rural areas of the U.S., and in 11 major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): Boston, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Lotus, Spokane, and Washington D.C. We consider six types of motor vehicles: light-duty gasoline and diesel vehicles, light-duty gasoline and diesel trucks, and heavy-duty gasoline and diesel trucks. We estimate the number and type of health effects, and the monetized value of these effects, including total dollar costs, dollar costs per vehicle-mile of travel, and dollar costs per kg of pollutant emitted. Finally, we include an analysis of the three main sources of the costs: direct emissions from motor vehicles, emissions of road-dust particulate matter, and "upstream" emissions from gasoline stations, refineries, vehicle manufacturing, and so on.

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    Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt5jm6d2tc.

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    Date of creation: 01 Aug 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt5jm6d2tc
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    1. Krumm, Ronald J. & Graves, Philip E., 1982. "Morbidity and pollution: model specification analysis for time-series data on hospital admissions," MPRA Paper 19906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Loehman, E. T. & Berg, S. V. & Arroyo, A. A. & Hedinger, R. A. & Schwartz, J. M. & Shaw, M. E. & Fahien, R. W. & De, V. H. & Fishe, R. P. & Rio, D. E., 1979. "Distributional analysis of regional benefits and cost of air quality control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 222-243, September.
    3. Phil Graves & James C. Murdoch & Mark A. Thayer & Don Waldman, 1988. "The Robustness of Hedonic Price Estimation: Urban Air Quality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 64(3), pages 220-233.
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    5. Smith, V. Kerry, 1983. "The role of site and job characteristics in hedonic wage models," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 296-321, May.
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    7. Small, Kenneth A. & Kazimi, Camilla, 1995. "On the Costs of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt0sx81025, University of California Transportation Center.
    8. Krupnick, Alan J. & Harrington, Winston & Ostro, Bart, 1990. "Ambient ozone and acute health effects: Evidence from daily data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-18, January.
    9. Jones-Lee, M W & Hammerton, M & Philips, P R, 1985. "The Value of Safety: Results of a National Sample Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 49-72, March.
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    13. Gerking, Shelby & de Haan, Menno & Schulze, William, 1988. " The Marginal Value of Job Safety: A Contingent Valuation Study," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 185-99, June.
    14. Portney, Paul R. & Mullahy, John, 1990. "Urban air quality and chronic respiratory disease," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 407-418, November.
    15. Mendelsohn, Robert & Orcutt, Guy, 1979. "An empirical analysis of air pollution dose-response curves," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 85-106, June.
    16. Kip Viscusi, W. & Magat, Wesley A. & Huber, Joel, 1991. "Pricing environmental health risks: survey assessments of risk-risk and risk-dollar trade-offs for chronic bronchitis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 32-51, July.
    17. Mendelsohn, Robert & Orcutt, Guy, 1983. "A reply to a comment on estimating air pollution dose - response curves," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-190, June.
    18. Klepper Steven & Kamlet Mark S. & Frank Richard G., 1993. "Regressor Diagnostics for the Errors-in-Variables Model - An Application to the Health Effects of Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 190-211, May.
    19. Blomquist, Glenn C, 1979. "Value of Life Saving: Implications of Consumption Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 540-58, June.
    20. Harrington, Winston & Portney, Paul R., 1987. "Valuing the benefits of health and safety regulation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 101-112, July.
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