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Productivity loss amid invisible pollution

Chunchao Wang, Qianqian Lin and Yun Qiu

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2022, vol. 112, issue C

Abstract: Ground-level ozone is a continuing problem worldwide, but there is insufficient research about the influence of ozone pollution on labor productivity in developing countries. Couriers are important for e-commerce and the rapidly developing express delivery industry around the world. Yet, due to their typical outdoor working environments, they are susceptible to the health effects of ozone pollution. We investigate the effect of ozone pollution on outdoor worker productivity in the service sector using a unique panel dataset of courier productivity from a top-five express delivery company in China. Using an instrumental variable constructed from ozone pollution of nearby upwind cities, we find that a 1 standard deviation increase in daily ozone pollution decreases courier productivity by 6.8%. The same increase in ozone over the previous 30 day period decreases worker productivity by 23.7%. Our findings emphasize an under-researched but important part of the socioeconomic costs of ozone pollution, and call for policy attention on the coordinated management of ozone pollution and particulate matters in developing countries.

Keywords: Ozone pollution; Air pollution; Labor productivity; Express delivery industry; Contemporaneous effect; Cumulative effect; Outdoor workers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 O13 P23 P28 Q51 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2022.102638

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Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

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