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From Fog to Smog: the Value of Pollution Information

Author

Listed:
  • Panle Jia Barwick
  • Shanjun Li
  • Liguo Lin
  • Eric Zou

Abstract

In 2013, China launched a landmark program to monitor air quality and disclose real-time data, significantly increasing the public’s access to and awareness of pollution information. The program triggered cascading behavioral changes such as stronger avoidance of outdoor pollution exposure and increased spending on protective products. These behavioral responses mitigated the mortality impact of air pollution. Conservative estimates indicate that the program’s health benefits outweigh the costs by an order of magnitude. The findings highlight the benefits of improving public access to pollution information in developing countries which often experience severe air pollution but lack pollution data collection and dissemination.

Suggested Citation

  • Panle Jia Barwick & Shanjun Li & Liguo Lin & Eric Zou, 2019. "From Fog to Smog: the Value of Pollution Information," NBER Working Papers 26541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26541
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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