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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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    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
    • 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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