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Air Pollution Exposure and COVID-19

Author

Listed:
  • Cole, Matthew A.

    () (University of Birmingham)

  • Ozgen, Ceren

    () (University of Birmingham)

  • Strobl, Eric

    () (University of Bern)

Abstract

In light of the existing preliminary evidence of a link between Covid-19 and poor air quality, which is largely based upon correlations, we estimate the relationship between long term air pollution exposure and Covid-19 in 355 municipalities in the Netherlands. Using detailed secondary and administrative data we find compelling evidence of a positive relationship between air pollution, and particularly PM2.5 concentrations, and Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and deaths. This relationship persists after controlling for a wide range of explanatory variables. Our results indicate that a 1 μ/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentrations is associated with 9.4 more Covid-19 cases, 3.0 more hospital admissions, and 2.3 more deaths. The relationship between Covid-19 and air pollution withstands a number of sensitivity and robustness exercises including instrumenting pollution to mitigate potential endogeneity and modelling spatial spillovers using spatial econometric techniques.

Suggested Citation

  • Cole, Matthew A. & Ozgen, Ceren & Strobl, Eric, 2020. "Air Pollution Exposure and COVID-19," IZA Discussion Papers 13367, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13367
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steve Cicala & Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur & Nicholas Z. Muller & Andrew J. Yates, 2020. "Expected Health Effects of Reduced Air Pollution from COVID-19 Social Distancing," NBER Working Papers 27135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2015. "Control Function Methods in Applied Econometrics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 420-445.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jill Furzer & Boriana Miloucheva, 2020. "The Long Arm of the Clean Air Act: Pollution Abatement and COVID-19 Racial Disparities," Working Papers tecipa-668, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Netherlands; air pollution; COVID-19; spatial spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • 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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