IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/18267.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Defensive Investments and the Demand for Air Quality: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program and Ozone Reductions

Author

Listed:
  • Olivier Deschenes
  • Michael Greenstone
  • Joseph S. Shapiro

Abstract

Willingness to pay for air quality is a function of health and the costly defensive investments that contribute to health, but there is little research assessing the empirical importance of defensive investments. The setting for this paper is a large US emissions cap and trade market - the NOx Budget Trading Program (NBP) - that has greatly reduced NOx emissions since its initiation in 2003. Using rich quasi-experimental variation, we find that the reductions in NOx emissions decreased the number of summer days with high ozone levels by about 25%. The NBP also led to reductions in expenditures on prescription pharmaceutical expenditures of about 1.9%. Additionally, the summer mortality rate declined by approximately 0.5%, indicating that there were about 2,200 fewer premature deaths per summer, mainly among individuals 75 and older. The monetized value of the reductions in pharmaceutical purchases and mortality rates are each roughly $900 million annually, suggesting that defensive investments are a significant portion of willingness to pay for air quality. Finally, we cautiously conclude that the reductions in ozone are the primary channel for these reductions in defensive investments and mortality rates, which indicates that willingness to pay for ozone reductions is larger than previously understood.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2012. "Defensive Investments and the Demand for Air Quality: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program and Ozone Reductions," NBER Working Papers 18267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18267
    Note: CH EEE HC HE LS PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18267.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18267. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.