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

  • Matthew J. Neidell
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14209.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14209.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2008
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    Publication status: published as Matthew Neidell, 2009. "Information, Avoidance Behavior, and Health: The Effect of Ozone on Asthma Hospitalizations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14209
    Note: CH EEE HE
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. 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, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167, August.
    2. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Tomas Philipson, 1999. "Economic Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases," NBER Working Papers 7037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2003. "The Effect Of Information On Product Quality: Evidence From Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 409-451, May.
    5. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Air Quality, Infant Mortality, and the Clean Air Act of 1970," NBER Working Papers 10053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    7. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew, 2004. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn From California's Recent Experience?," IZA Discussion Papers 1056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Avner Ahituv & V. Joseph Hotz & Tomas Philipson, 1996. "The Responsiveness of the Demand for Condoms to the Local Prevalence of AIDS," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 869-897.
    9. John Mullahy, 1998. "It'll Only Hurt a Second? Microeconomic Determinants of Who Gets Flu Shots," NBER Working Papers 6500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Seema Jayachandran, 2005. "Air Quality and Infant Mortality During Indonesia's Massive Wildfires in 1997," UCLA Economics Online Papers 358, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. 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.
    13. 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, 04.
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