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Information, Avoidance Behavior, and Health: The Effect of Ozone on Asthma Hospitalizations

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  • Matthew J. Neidell

Abstract

This paper assesses whether responses to information about risk impact estimates of the relationship between ozone and asthma in Southern California. Using a regression discontinuity design, I find smog alerts significantly reduces daily attendance at two major outdoor facilities. Using daily time-series regression models that include year-month and small area fixed effects, I find estimates of the effect of ozone for children and the elderly that include information are significantly larger than estimates that do not. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that individuals take substantial action to reduce exposure to risk; estimates ignoring these actions are severely biased.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Neidell, 2008. "Information, Avoidance Behavior, and Health: The Effect of Ozone on Asthma Hospitalizations," NBER Working Papers 14209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14209
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philipson, Tomas, 2000. "Economic epidemiology and infectious diseases," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 33, pages 1761-1799 Elsevier.
    2. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2005. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn from California's Recent Experience?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1003-1030.
    3. Neidell, Matthew J., 2004. "Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1209-1236, November.
    4. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    5. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167.
    6. Smith, V Kerry & Johnson, F Reed, 1988. "How Do Risk Perceptions Respond to Information? The Case of Radon," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 1-8, February.
    7. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2003. "The Effect of Information on Product Quality: Evidence from Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 409-451.
    8. Seema Jayachandran, 2005. "Air Quality and Infant Mortality During Indonesia's Massive Wildfires in 1997," UCLA Economics Online Papers 358, UCLA Department of Economics.
    9. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    10. John Mullahy, 1999. "It'll only hurt a second? Microeconomic determinants of who gets flu shots," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 9-24.
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    13. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1989:79:5:623-628_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Michael R Ransom & C. Arden Pope Iii, 1995. "External Health Costs Of A Steel Mill," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(2), pages 86-97, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • 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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