IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cen/wpaper/20-02.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Caused Racial Disparities in Particulate Exposure to Fall? New Evidence from the Clean Air Act and Satellite-Based Measures of Air Quality

Author

Listed:
  • Janet Currie
  • John Voorheis
  • Reed Walker

Abstract

Racial differences in exposure to ambient air pollution have declined significantly in the United States over the past 20 years. This project links restricted-access Census Bureau microdata to newly available, spatially continuous high resolution measures of ambient particulate pollution (PM2.5) to examine the underlying causes and consequences of differences in black-white pollution exposures. We begin by decomposing differences in pollution exposure into components explained by observable population characteristics (e.g., income) versus those that remain unexplained. We then use quantile regression methods to show that a significant portion of the “unexplained” convergence in black-white pollution exposure can be attributed to differential impacts of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in non-Hispanic African American and non-Hispanic white communities. Areas with larger black populations saw greater CAA-related declines in PM2.5 exposure. We show that the CAA has been the single largest contributor to racial convergence in PM2.5 pollution exposure in the U.S. since 2000 accounting for over 60 percent of the reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie & John Voorheis & Reed Walker, 2020. "What Caused Racial Disparities in Particulate Exposure to Fall? New Evidence from the Clean Air Act and Satellite-Based Measures of Air Quality," Working Papers 20-02, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:20-02
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2020/CES-WP-20-02.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2020
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Meredith Fowlie & Edward Rubin & Reed Walker, 2019. "Bringing Satellite-Based Air Quality Estimates Down to Earth," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 283-288, May.
    2. Adam Isen & Maya Rossin-Slater & W. Reed Walker, 2017. "Every Breath You Take—Every Dollar You’ll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 848-902.
    3. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    4. Logan, Trevon D. & Parman, John M., 2017. "The National Rise in Residential Segregation," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 127-170, March.
    5. Spencer Banzhaf & Lala Ma & Christopher Timmins, 2019. "Environmental Justice: The Economics of Race, Place, and Pollution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 185-208, Winter.
    6. Victor Couture & Jessie Handbury, 2017. "Urban Revival in America, 2000 to 2010," NBER Working Papers 24084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
    8. Abel, T.D. & White, J., 2011. "Skewed riskscapes and gentrified inequities: Environmental exposure disparities in Seattle, Washington," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 101(SUPPL. 1), pages 246-254.
    9. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    10. John Voorheis, 2017. "Longitudinal Environmental Inequality and Environmental Gentrification: Who Gains From Cleaner Air?," CARRA Working Papers 2017-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    11. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Air Quality, Infant Mortality, and the Clean Air Act of 1970," Working Papers 0406, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
    12. Solomon Hsiang & Paulina Oliva & Reed Walker, 2019. "The Distribution of Environmental Damages," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(1), pages 83-103.
    13. Paul Mohai & Robin Saha, 2006. "Reassessing racial and socioeconomic disparities in environmental justice research," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(2), pages 383-399, May.
    14. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, May.
    15. Victor Brajer & Jane V. Hall, 2005. "Changes in the Distribution of Air Pollution Exposure in the Los Angeles Basin from 1990 to 1999," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(1), pages 50-58, January.
    16. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    17. Carolyn A. Liebler & Sonya R. Porter & Leticia E. Fernandez & James M. Noon & Sharon R. Ennis, 2017. "America’s Churning Races: Race and Ethnicity Response Changes Between Census 2000 and the 2010 Census," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(1), pages 259-284, February.
    18. Brooks Depro & Christopher Timmins & Maggie O'Neil, 2015. "White Flight and Coming to the Nuisance: Can Residential Mobility Explain Environmental Injustice?," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 439-468.
    19. Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2019. "What Do Economists Have to Say about the Clean Air Act 50 Years after the Establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gillingham, Kenneth & Huang, Pei, 2021. "Racial disparities in the health effects from air pollution: Evidence from ports," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-058, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    2. Carolyn Fischer & Grant D. Jacobsen, 2021. "The Green New Deal And The Future Of Carbon Pricing," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(3), pages 988-995, June.
    3. Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & Karen Jiang & Zirui Song & Jacob Wallace, 2022. "Measuring Changes in Disparity Gaps: An Application to Health Insurance," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 112, pages 356-360, May.
    4. Hollingsworth, Alex & Konisky, David & Zirogiannis, Nikos, 2021. "The health consequences of excess emissions: Evidence from Texas," OSF Preprints gc73x, Center for Open Science.
    5. Timothy J. Halliday & Rachel Inafuku & Lester Lusher & Aureo de Paula, 2022. "VOG: Using Volcanic Eruptions to Estimate the Impact of Air Pollution on Student Learning Outcomes," Working Papers 202203, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    6. Duque, Valentina & Gilraine, Michael, 2022. "Coal use, air pollution, and student performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 213(C).
    7. Moritz A. Drupp & Ulrike Kornek & Jasper N. Meya & Lutz Sager, 2021. "Inequality and the Environment: The Economics of a Two-Headed Hydra," CESifo Working Paper Series 9447, CESifo.
    8. Li, Huan & Zhang, Ruohao & Khanna, Neha, 2021. "Environmental Justice: A Multigenerational Perspective," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 313873, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Duque, Valentina & Gilraine, Michael, 2020. "Coal Use and Student Performance," Working Papers 2020-07, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    10. Marshall Burke & Sam Heft-Neal & Jessica Li & Anne Driscoll & Patrick Baylis & Matthieu Stigler & Joakim A. Weill & Jennifer A. Burney & Jeff Wen & Marissa L. Childs & Carlos F. Gould, 2022. "Exposures and behavioural responses to wildfire smoke," Nature Human Behaviour, Nature, vol. 6(10), pages 1351-1361, October.
    11. Jill Furzer & Boriana Miloucheva, 2020. "The Long Arm of the Clean Air Act: Pollution Abatement and COVID-19 Racial Disparities," Working Papers tecipa-668, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    12. Kate Kennedy-Moulton & Sarah Miller & Petra Persson & Maya Rossin-Slater & Laura Wherry & Gloria Aldana, 2022. "Maternal and Infant Health Inequality: New Evidence from Linked Administrative Data," Working Papers 22-55, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Kate Kennedy-Moulton & Sarah Miller & Petra Persson & Maya Rossin-Slater & Laura Wherry & Gloria Aldana, 2022. "Maternal and Infant Health Inequality: New Evidence from Linked Administrative Data," NBER Working Papers 30693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Colmer, Jonathan & Voorheis, John, 2020. "The grandkids aren't alright: the intergenerational effects of prenatal pollution exposure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108495, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Zhang, Ruohao & Li, Huan & Khanna, Neha, 2021. "Environmental justice and the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from New York State," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    16. Hollingsworth, Alex J. & Konisky, David M. & Zirogiannis, Nikolaos, 2021. "The health consequences of excess emissions: Evidence from Texas," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    17. Singh, Tejendra Pratap & Visaria, Sujata, 2021. "Up in the Air: Air Pollution and Crime – Evidence from India," SocArXiv hs4xj, Center for Open Science.
    18. Sager, Lutz & Singer, Gregor, 2022. "Clean identification? The effects of the Clean Air Act on air pollution, exposure disparities and house prices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 115528, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Michael Gilraine & Angela Zheng, 2022. "Air Pollution and Student Performance in the U.S," Department of Economics Working Papers 2022-02, McMaster University.
    20. Singh, Tejendra Pratap, 2022. "Beyond The Haze: Air Pollution and Student Absenteeism - Evidence from India," OSF Preprints pcva2, Center for Open Science.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Janet Currie & John Voorheis & Reed Walker, 2020. "What Caused Racial Disparities in Particulate Exposure to Fall? New Evidence from the Clean Air Act and Satellite-Based Measures of Air Quality," NBER Working Papers 26659, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hausman, Catherine & Stolper, Samuel, 2021. "Inequality, information failures, and air pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    3. Giaccherini, Matilde & Kopinska, Joanna & Palma, Alessandro, 2021. "When particulate matter strikes cities: Social disparities and health costs of air pollution," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    4. Gillingham, Kenneth & Huang, Pei, 2021. "Racial disparities in the health effects from air pollution: Evidence from ports," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-058, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    5. Sergio Longobardi & Margherita Maria Pagliuca & Andrea Regoli, 2018. "Can problem-solving attitudes explain the gender gap in financial literacy? Evidence from Italian students’ data," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(4), pages 1677-1705, July.
    6. Ramos, Raul & Sanromá, Esteban & Simón, Hipólito, 2022. "Collective bargaining levels, employment and wage inequality in Spain," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 375-395.
    7. Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & Mathias G. Sinning, 2014. "Distributional Changes in the Gender Wage Gap," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(2), pages 335-361, April.
    8. Trinh Thi, Huong & Simioni, Michel & Thomas-Agnan, Christine, 2018. "Decomposition of changes in the consumption of macronutrients in Vietnam between 2004 and 2014," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 259-275.
    9. Domenico Depalo & Raffaela Giordano & Evangelia Papapetrou, 2015. "Public–private wage differentials in euro-area countries: evidence from quantile decomposition analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 985-1015, November.
    10. Jan Eeckhout & Roberto Pinheiro & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2014. "Spatial Sorting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 554-620.
    11. Kaltenberg, Mary & Foster-McGregor, Neil, 2020. "The impact of automation on inequality across Europe," MERIT Working Papers 2020-009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    12. Anglade, Boaz & Useche, Pilar & Deere, Carmen Diana, 2017. "Decomposing the Gender Wealth Gap in Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 19-31.
    13. Sierminska, Eva & Piazzalunga, Daniela & Grabka, Markus M., 2018. "Transitioning towards more equality? Wealth gender differences and the changing role of explanatory factors over time," GLO Discussion Paper Series 252, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    14. Joanna Małgorzata Landmesser, 2019. "Decomposition Of Gender Wage Gap In Poland Using Counterfactual Distribution With Sample Selection," Statistics in Transition New Series, Polish Statistical Association, vol. 20(3), pages 171-186, September.
    15. Daniel Baumgarten & Gabriel Felbermayr & Sybille Lehwald, 2020. "Dissecting Between‐Plant and Within‐Plant Wage Dispersion: Evidence from Germany," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 85-122, January.
    16. Nicodemo, Catia & Raya, Josep Maria, 2012. "Change in the distribution of house prices across Spanish cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 739-748.
    17. Maximilian Longmuir & Carsten Schröde & Matteo Targa, 2020. "De-Routinization of Jobs and Polarization of Earnings: Evidence from 35 Countries," Working Papers 1397, Economic Research Forum, revised 20 Jun 2020.
    18. Sandeep Mohapatra & Bruno Wichmann & Philippe Marcoul, 2018. "Removing The “Veil Of Ignorance”: Nonlinearities In Education Effects On Gender Wage Inequalities," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 644-666, October.
    19. Urbanczyk Dominika Marta & Landmesser Joanna Małgorzata, 2018. "The Comparison Of Income Distributions For Women And Men In Poland Using Semiparametric Reweighting Approach," Statistics in Transition New Series, Polish Statistical Association, vol. 19(4), pages 711-723, December.
    20. Roshchin, Sergey & Yemelina, Natalya, 2021. "Gender wage gap decomposition methods: Comparative analysis," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 62, pages 5-31.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:20-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Dawn Anderson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.