IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/108466.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why are pollution damages lower in developed countries? Insights from high income, high-particulate matter Hong Kong

Author

Listed:
  • Colmer, Jonathan
  • Lin, Dajun
  • Liu, Siying
  • Shimshack, Jay

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that pollution damages are high in less-developed countries because they are highly polluted. Using administrative data on the universe of births and deaths, we explore the morbidity and mortality effects of gestational particulate matter exposure in high-pollution yet highly-developed Hong Kong. The effects of particulates on birthweight are large. We estimate no effect of particulates on neonatal mortality. We interpret our stark mortality results in a comparative analysis of pollution-mortality relationships across well-known studies. We provide evidence that mortality damages may be high in less-developed countries because they are less developed, not because they are more polluted.

Suggested Citation

  • Colmer, Jonathan & Lin, Dajun & Liu, Siying & Shimshack, Jay, 2020. "Why are pollution damages lower in developed countries? Insights from high income, high-particulate matter Hong Kong," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108466, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:108466
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/108466/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Greenstone & Rema Hanna, 2014. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3038-3072, October.
    2. Tatyana Deryugina & Garth Heutel & Nolan H. Miller & David Molitor & Julian Reif, 2019. "The Mortality and Medical Costs of Air Pollution: Evidence from Changes in Wind Direction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(12), pages 4178-4219, December.
    3. Eva Arceo & Rema Hanna & Paulina Oliva, 2016. "Does the Effect of Pollution on Infant Mortality Differ Between Developing and Developed Countries? Evidence from Mexico City," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 257-280, March.
    4. Alberto Abadie, 2020. "Statistical Nonsignificance in Empirical Economics," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 193-208, June.
    5. Chay, Kenneth & Dobkin, Carlos & Greenstone, Michael, 2003. "The Clean Air Act of 1970 and Adult Mortality," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 279-300, December.
    6. Douglas Almond & Joseph J. Doyle & Amanda E. Kowalski & Heidi Williams, 2010. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Medical Care: Evidence from At-risk Newborns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 591-634.
    7. Pauline M. Ippolito & Alan D. Mathios, 1990. "Information, Advertising and Health Choices: A Study of the Cereal Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 459-480, Autumn.
    8. Avraham Ebenstein & Victor Lavy & Sefi Roth, 2016. "The Long-Run Economic Consequences of High-Stakes Examinations: Evidence from Transitory Variation in Pollution," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 36-65, October.
    9. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
    10. Tom Y. Chang & Joshua Graff Zivin & Tal Gross & Matthew Neidell, 2019. "The Effect of Pollution on Worker Productivity: Evidence from Call Center Workers in China," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 151-172, January.
    11. Janet Currie & Tom Vogl, 2013. "Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, May.
    12. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167.
    13. Christopher R. Knittel & Douglas L. Miller & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2016. "Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 350-366, May.
    14. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
    15. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "Biology as Destiny? Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Intergenerational Transmission of Birth Weight," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 231-264.
    16. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 689-730, September.
    17. He, Guojun & Liu, Tong & Zhou, Maigeng, 2020. "Straw burning, PM2.5, and death: Evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    18. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2012. "The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3652-3673, December.
    19. 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.
    20. Rachael Meager, 2019. "Understanding the Average Impact of Microcredit Expansions: A Bayesian Hierarchical Analysis of Seven Randomized Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 57-91, January.
    21. Shinsuke Tanaka, 2012. "Environmental Regulations on Air Pollution in China and Their Impact on Infant Mortality," IDEC DP2 Series 2-11, Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC).
    22. Katharina Janke & Carol Propper & John Henderson, 2009. "Do current levels of air pollution kill? The impact of air pollution on population mortality in England," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(9), pages 1031-1055, September.
    23. He, Guojun & Fan, Maoyong & Zhou, Maigeng, 2016. "The effect of air pollution on mortality in China: Evidence from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 18-39.
    24. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
    25. Deborah Wagner & Mary Lane, 2014. "The Person Identification Validation System (PVS): Applying the Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications’ (CARRA) Record Linkage Software," CARRA Working Papers 2014-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    26. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2009. "Air pollution and infant health: Lessons from New Jersey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 688-703, May.
    27. Barrows, Geoffrey & Garg, Teevrat & Jha, Akshaya, 2019. "The Health Costs of Coal-Fired Power Plants in India," IZA Discussion Papers 12838, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    28. Zhang, Junjie & Mu, Quan, 2018. "Air pollution and defensive expenditures: Evidence from particulate-filtering facemasks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 517-536.
    29. Tom Chang & Joshua Graff Zivin & Tal Gross & Matthew Neidell, 2016. "Particulate Pollution and the Productivity of Pear Packers," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 141-169, August.
    30. Seema Jayachandran, 2009. "Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality: Evidence from Indonesia’s Wildfires," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    31. 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.
    32. 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.
    33. Tom Y Chang & Wei Huang & Yongxiang Wang, 2018. "Something in the Air: Pollution and the Demand for Health Insurance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 1609-1634.
    34. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2011. "Water Quality Violations and Avoidance Behavior: Evidence from Bottled Water Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 448-453, May.
    35. Andrew L. Goodkind & Jay S. Coggins & Julian D. Marshall, 2014. "A Spatial Model of Air Pollution: The Impact of the Concentration-Response Function," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 451-479.
    36. Alice Chen & Emily Oster & Heidi Williams, 2014. "Why is Infant Mortality Higher in the US than in Europe?," NBER Working Papers 20525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    37. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Prashant Bharadwaj & James Fenske & Anant Nyshadham & Richard Stanley, 2016. "Dust and Death: Evidence from the West African Harmattan," CSAE Working Paper Series 2016-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    38. Enrico Moretti & Matthew Neidell, 2011. "Pollution, Health, and Avoidance Behavior: Evidence from the Ports of Los Angeles," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 154-175.
    39. Sam Heft-Neal & Jennifer Burney & Eran Bendavid & Kara Voss & Marshall Burke, 2019. "Air Pollution and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Saharan Dust," NBER Working Papers 26107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    40. Fan, Maoyong & He, Guojun & Zhou, Maigeng, 2020. "The winter choke: Coal-Fired heating, air pollution, and mortality in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    41. George A. Akerlof, 2020. "Sins of Omission and the Practice of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(2), pages 405-418, June.
    42. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2005. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn from California's Recent Experience?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1003-1030.
    43. Neidell, Matthew J., 2004. "Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1209-1236, November.
    44. Sam Heft-Neal & Jennifer Burney & Eran Bendavid & Marshall Burke, 2018. "Robust relationship between air quality and infant mortality in Africa," Nature, Nature, vol. 559(7713), pages 254-258, July.
    45. Tanaka, Shinsuke, 2015. "Environmental regulations on air pollution in China and their impact on infant mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 90-103.
    46. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    47. Panle Jia Barwick & Shanjun Li & Deyu Rao & Nahim Bin Zahur, 2018. "The Morbidity Cost of Air Pollution: Evidence from Consumer Spending in China," Working Papers id:12825, eSocialSciences.
    48. Alice Chen & Emily Oster & Heidi Williams, 2016. "Why Is Infant Mortality Higher in the United States Than in Europe?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 89-124, May.
    49. Maximilian Auffhammer & Solomon M. Hsiang & Wolfram Schlenker & Adam Sobel, 2013. "Using Weather Data and Climate Model Output in Economic Analyses of Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(2), pages 181-198, July.
    50. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2010. "Mercury advisories and household health trade-offs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 674-685, September.
    51. Cheung, Chun Wai & He, Guojun & Pan, Yuhang, 2020. "Mitigating the air pollution effect? The remarkable decline in the pollution-mortality relationship in Hong Kong," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    52. Meager, Rachael, 2019. "Understanding the average impact of microcredit expansions: a Bayesian hierarchical analysis of seven randomized experiments," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88190, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    53. Panle Jia Barwick & Shanjun Li & Liguo Lin & Eric Zou, 2019. "From Fog to Smog: the Value of Pollution Information," NBER Working Papers 26541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    54. Bombardini, Matilde & Li, Bingjing, 2020. "Trade, pollution and mortality in China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    55. Jiaxiu He & Haoming Liu & Alberto Salvo, 2019. "Severe Air Pollution and Labor Productivity: Evidence from Industrial Towns in China," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 173-201, January.
    56. Shuai Chen & Paulina Oliva & Peng Zhang, 2018. "Air Pollution and Mental Health: Evidence from China," NBER Working Papers 24686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    57. Pullabhotla, Hemant K. & Souza, Mateus, 2019. "Air pollution and cardiovascular health: evidence from agricultural fires in India," 2019 Annual Meeting, July 21-23, Atlanta, Georgia 290821, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    58. 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.
    59. Prashant Bharadwaj & Katrine Vellesen L?ken & Christopher Neilson, 2013. "Early Life Health Interventions and Academic Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1862-1891, August.
    60. Kelly C. Bishop & Jonathan D. Ketcham & Nicolai V. Kuminoff, 2018. "Hazed and Confused: The Effect of Air Pollution on Dementia," NBER Working Papers 24970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    61. Shuai Chen & Paulina Oliva & Peng Zhang, 2017. "The Effect of Air Pollution on Migration: Evidence from China," NBER Working Papers 24036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    62. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Shimshack, Jay P., 2014. "Air pollution and children's respiratory health: A cohort analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 39-57.
    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. Klauber, Hannah & Holub, Felix & Koch, Nicolas & Pestel, Nico & Ritter, Nolan & Rohlf, Alexander, 2021. "Killing Prescriptions Softly: Low Emission Zones and Child Health from Birth to School," IZA Discussion Papers 14376, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Jonathan Colmer & Jennifer L. Doleac, 2023. "Access to Guns in the Heat of the Moment: More Restrictive Gun Laws Mitigate the Effect of Temperature on Violence," CESifo Working Paper Series 10525, CESifo.

    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. 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. 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).
    3. Cheung, Chun Wai & He, Guojun & Pan, Yuhang, 2020. "Mitigating the air pollution effect? The remarkable decline in the pollution-mortality relationship in Hong Kong," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    4. Shihe Fu & V. Brian Viard, 2022. "A mayors perspective on tackling air pollution," Chapters, in: Charles K.Y. Leung (ed.), Handbook of Real Estate and Macroeconomics, chapter 16, pages 413-437, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Dolores de la Mata & Carlos Felipe Gaviria Garces, 2019. "Exposure to Pollution and Infant Health: Evidence from Colombia," CINCH Working Paper Series 1902, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    6. He, Guojun & Liu, Tong & Zhou, Maigeng, 2020. "Straw burning, PM2.5, and death: Evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    7. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 689-730, September.
    8. Diane Alexander & Hannes Schwandt, 2019. "The Impact of Car Pollution on Infant and Child Health: Evidence from Emissions Cheating," Working Paper Series WP-2019-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Yao, Yao & Li, Xue & Smyth, Russell & Zhang, Lin, 2022. "Air pollution and political trust in local government: Evidence from China," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    10. Ball, Alastair, 2014. "Air pollution, foetal mortality, and long-term health: Evidence from the Great London Smog," MPRA Paper 63229, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Mar 2015.
    11. Chen, Siyu & Guo, Chongshan & Huang, Xinfei, 2018. "Air Pollution, Student Health, and School Absences: Evidence from China," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 465-497.
    12. Felix Holub & Laura Hospido & Ulrich J. Wagner, 2020. "Urban air pollution and sick leaves: evidence from social security data," Working Papers 2041, Banco de España.
    13. Wang, Linfeng & Shi, Tie & Chen, Hanyi, 2023. "Air pollution and infant mortality: Evidence from China," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    14. Singh, Tejendra Pratap & Visaria, Sujata, 2021. "Up in the Air: Air Pollution and Crime – Evidence from India," SocArXiv hs4xj, Center for Open Science.
    15. Štěpán Mikula & Mariola Pytliková, 2020. "Air Pollution & Migration: Exploiting a Natural Experiment from the Czech Republic," EconPol Working Paper 43, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    16. Chen, Shiyi & Jiang, Lingduo & Liu, Wanlin & Song, Hong, 2022. "Fireworks regulation, air pollution, and public health: Evidence from China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
    17. Wang, Yangjie & Chen, Xiaohong & Ren, Shenggang, 2019. "Clean energy adoption and maternal health: Evidence from China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    18. Xinming Du, 2023. "Symptom or Culprit? Social Media, Air Pollution, and Violence," CESifo Working Paper Series 10296, CESifo.
    19. Carneiro, Juliana & Cole, Matthew A. & Strobl, Eric, 2022. "Foetal Exposure to Air Pollution and Students Cognitive Performance : Evidence from Agricultural Fires in Brazil," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1425, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    20. Alessandro Palma & Inna Petrunyk & Daniela Vuri, 2022. "Prenatal air pollution exposure and neonatal health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(5), pages 729-759, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    particulate matter; marginal damages; infant health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

    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:ehl:lserod:108466. 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/lsepsuk.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: LSERO Manager (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.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.