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Economic Status, Air Quality, and Child Health: Evidence from Inversion Episodes

Author

Listed:
  • Jans, Jenny

    () (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

  • Johansson, Per

    () (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

  • Nilsson, J Peter

    () (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

Abstract

On normal days, the temperature decreases with altitude, allowing air pollutants to rise and disperse. During inversion episodes, a warmer air layer at higher altitude traps pollu- tants close to the ground. We show how readily available NASA satellite data on vertical temperature proles can be used to measure inversion episodes on a global scale with high spatial and temporal resolution. Then, we link inversion episode data to ground level pollution monitors and to daily in- and outpatient records for the universe of children in Sweden during a six-year period to provide instrumental variable estimates of the eects of air quality on children's health. The IV estimates show that the respiratory illness health care visit rate increases by 8 percent for each 10 m=m3 increase in PM10; an es- timate four times higher than conventional estimates. Importantly, by linking the health care data to detailed records of parental background characteristics, we show that chil- dren from low-income households suer signicantly more from air pollution than children from high income households. Finally, we provide evidence on the importance of several mechanisms that could contribute to the dierence in the impact of air pollution across children in rich and poor households.

Suggested Citation

  • Jans, Jenny & Johansson, Per & Nilsson, J Peter, 2014. "Economic Status, Air Quality, and Child Health: Evidence from Inversion Episodes," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2014:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uulswp:2014_001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fu, Shihe & Viard, Brian & Zhang, Peng, 2017. "Air Quality and Manufacturing Firm Productivity: Comprehensive Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 78914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Lutz Sager, 2016. "Estimating the effect of air pollution on road safety using atmospheric temperature," GRI Working Papers 251, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    3. 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.
    4. Aggeborn, Linuz & Öhman, Mattias, 2017. "The Effects of Fluoride in the Drinking Water," Working Paper Series 2017:20, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Air pollution; Health; inversions; environmental policy; instrumental variable; nonparametric regression; socio-economic gradient in health;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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