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Growth, Pollution, and Life Expectancy: China from 1991-2012

Author

Listed:
  • Guojun He

    () (Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Maoyong Fan

    () (Department of Economics, Ball State University)

  • Maigeng Zhou

    () (National Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • Avraham Ebenstein

    (Department of Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • Michael Greenstone

    (Department of Economics, University of Chicago
    National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER))

  • Peng Yin

    (National Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between income, pollution, and mortality in China from 1991-2012. Using first-difference models, we document a robust positive association between city-level GDP and life expectancy. We also find a negative association between city-level particulate air pollution exposure and life expectancy that is driven by elevated cardiorespiratory mortality rates. The results suggest that while China's unprecedented economic growth over the last two decades is associated with health improvements, pollution has served as a countervailing force.

Suggested Citation

  • Guojun He & Maoyong Fan & Maigeng Zhou & Avraham Ebenstein & Michael Greenstone & Peng Yin, 2015. "Growth, Pollution, and Life Expectancy: China from 1991-2012," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-10, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Feb 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:hku:wpaper:201510
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    2. Muhammad Shahbaz & Muhammad Shafiullah & Mantu K. Mahalik, 2019. "The dynamics of financial development, globalisation, economic growth and life expectancy in sub‐Saharan Africa," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 444-479, December.
    3. Zhou, Mengling & Wang, Bing & Chen, Zhongfei, 2020. "Has the anti-corruption campaign decreased air pollution in China?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    4. Shao, Shuai & Tian, Zhihua & Fan, Meiting, 2018. "Do the rich have stronger willingness to pay for environmental protection? New evidence from a survey in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 83-94.
    5. Zhu, Juan & Jiang, Dequan & Shen, Yongjian & Shen, Yuxin, 2021. "Does regional air quality affect executive turnover at listed companies in China?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 428-436.
    6. Luo, Weixiang & Xie, Yu, 2020. "Economic growth, income inequality and life expectancy in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 256(C).
    7. 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.
    8. Dávid Krisztián Nagy, 2021. "Quantitative Economic Geography Meets History: Questions, Answers and Challenges," Working Papers 1249, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    9. Nguyen, Hung T. & Pham, Mia Hang, 2021. "Air pollution and behavioral biases: Evidence from stock market anomalies," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C).
    10. Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2017. "East Asian Financial and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 23845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Sun, Cong & Kahn, Matthew E. & Zheng, Siqi, 2017. "Self-protection investment exacerbates air pollution exposure inequality in urban China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 468-474.
    12. Mehic, Adrian, 2020. "The Electoral Consequences of Nuclear Fallout: Evidence from Chernobyl," Working Papers 2020:23, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    13. Matilde Bombardini & Bingjing Li, 2016. "Trade, Pollution and Mortality in China," NBER Working Papers 22804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. 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).
    16. Bombardini, Matilde & Li, Bingjing, 2020. "Trade, pollution and mortality in China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    17. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    growth; pollution; life expectancy; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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