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Racial disparities in the health effects from air pollution: Evidence from ports

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  • Gillingham, Kenneth
  • Huang, Pei

Abstract

This study examines the uneven effects of air pollution from maritime ports on physical and mental health across racial groups. We exploit quasi-random variation in vessels in port from weather events far out in the ocean to estimate how port traffic influences air pollution and human health. We find that one additional vessel in a port over a year leads to 3.0 hospital visits per thousand Black residents within 25 miles of the port and only 1.0 per thousand for whites. We assess a port-related environmental regulation and show that the policy can help alleviate racial inequalities in health outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Gillingham, Kenneth & Huang, Pei, 2021. "Racial disparities in the health effects from air pollution: Evidence from ports," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-058, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:21058
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    air pollution; health; environmental justice; quasi-experiment; instrumental variables; regression discontinuity design;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • 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
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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