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Estimating the effect of air pollution on road safety using atmospheric temperature inversions

Lutz Sager

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2019, vol. 98, issue C

Abstract: Does air quality influence road safety? We estimate the effect of increased air pollution on the number of road traffic accidents in the United Kingdom between 2009 and 2014. To address concerns of spurious correlation we exploit atmospheric temperature inversions as a source of plausibly exogenous variation in daily air pollution levels. We find an increase of 0.3–0.6% in the number of vehicles involved in accidents per day for each additional 1 μg/m3 of PM2.5. The finding suggests that less safe roads may present a large and previously overlooked cost of air pollution. The results are robust to a number of specifications and across various sub-samples.

Keywords: Air pollution; Traffic accidents; Road safety (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (66)

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2019.102250

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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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