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The Causal Effects of Long-Term PM2.5 Exposure on COVID-19 in India


  • Yamada,Takahiro
  • Yamada,Hiroyuki
  • Mani,Muthukumara S.


This study investigates the causal effects of long-term particulate matter 2.5 exposure on COVID-19 deaths, fatality rates, and cases in India by using an instrumental variables approach based on thermal inversion episodes. The estimation results indicate that a 1 percent increase in long-term exposure to particulate matter 2.5 leads to an increase in COVID-19 deaths by 5.7 percentage points and an increase in the COVID-19 fatality rate by 0.027 percentage point, but this exposure is not necessarily correlated with COVID-19 cases. People with underlying health conditions such as respiratory illness caused by exposure to air pollution might have a higher risk of death following SARS-CoV-2 infection. This finding might also apply to other countries where high levels of air pollution are a critical issue for development and public health.

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  • Yamada,Takahiro & Yamada,Hiroyuki & Mani,Muthukumara S., 2021. "The Causal Effects of Long-Term PM2.5 Exposure on COVID-19 in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9543, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:9543

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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge A Bonilla & Alejandro Lopez-Feldman & Paula Pereda & Nathaly M. Rivera & J. Cristobal Ruiz-Tagle, 2021. "Long-Term Air Pollution Exposure and COVID-19 Mortality in Latin America," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2021_23, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP), revised 02 Feb 2023.

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    More about this item


    Brown Issues and Health; Pollution Management&Control; Air Quality&Clean Air; Health Care Services Industry; Law and Justice Institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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