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Air pollution and innovation

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  • Bracht, Felix
  • Verhoeven, Dennis

Abstract

Existing estimates of the economic costs of air pollution do not account for its effect on inventive output. Using two weather phenomena as instruments, we estimate this effect in a sample of 1,288 European regions. A decrease in exposure to small particulate matter of 0.17µg/m3 - the average yearly reduction in Europe - leads to 1.7% more patented inventions. After ruling out reallocation of human capital, inventor mortality and R&D expenditures as drivers of the effect, we conclude that air pollution's harm to economic output increases by at least 10% when accounting for innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Bracht, Felix & Verhoeven, Dennis, 2021. "Air pollution and innovation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 113818, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:113818
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    Cited by:

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    3. Clara Kögel, 2022. "The impact of air pollution on labour productivity in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-03837884, HAL.
    4. Clara Kögel, 2022. "The impact of air pollution on labour productivity in France," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 22020, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    air pollution; air quality; innovation; patent; productivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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