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

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  • McCubbin, Donald R.
  • Delucchi, Mark A.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • McCubbin, Donald R. & Delucchi, Mark A., 1996. "The Social Cost of the Health Effects of Motor-Vehicle Air Pollution," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5jm6d2tc, University of California Transportation Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt5jm6d2tc
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Guihua, 2008. "Lifecycle Analysis of Air Quality Impacts of Hydrogen and Gasoline Transportation Fuel Pathways," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt41x6t130, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Plotkin, Steven E., 2001. "European and Japanese fuel economy initiatives: what they are, their prospects for success, their usefulness as a guide for US action," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(13), pages 1073-1084, November.
    3. Peter Bickel & Rainer Friedrich & Heike Link & Louise Stewart & Chris Nash, 2005. "Introducing Environmental Externalities into Transport Pricing: Measurement and Implications," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 389-415, November.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1152-:d:140611 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Wang, Guihua & Ogden, Joan M & Chang, Daniel P.Y., 2007. "Estimating changes in urban ozone concentrations due to life cycle emissions from hydrogen transportation systems," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt21c6p765, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    6. Wang, Guihua & Ogden, Joan M & Chang, Daniel P.Y., 2007. "Estimating changes in urban ozone concentrations due to life cycle emissions from hydrogen transportation systems," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt4894t868, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    7. Wang, Guihua & Bai, Song & Ogden, Joan M., 2009. "Identifying Contributions of On-road Motor Vehicles to Urban Air Pollution Using Travel Demand Model Data," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt2700q8x1, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    8. repec:mes:challe:v:42:y:1999:i:3:p:63-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Sperling, Dan & Wang, Guihua & Ogden, Joan M., 2008. "Comparing air quality impacts of hydrogen and gasoline," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt9215h1m8, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    10. Delucchi, Mark & Murphy, James & McCubbin, Donald, 2002. "The Health and Visibility Cost of Air Pollution: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt03s2x9xb, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.

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