EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Air Pollution and Firm-Level Human Capital, Knowledge and Innovation 

Tiago Cavalcanti, Kamiar Mohaddes, Hongyu Nian and Haitao Yin

CAMA Working Papers from Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University

Abstract: This paper investigates the long-run effects of prolonged air pollution on firm-level human capital, knowledge and innovation composition. Using a novel firm-level dataset covering almost all industrial firms engaged in science and technology activities in China, and employing a regression discontinuity design, we show that prolonged pollution significantly diminishes both the quantity and the quality of human capital at the firm level. More specifically, we show that air pollution affects firm-level human capital composition by reducing the share of employees with a PhD degree and master’s degree, but instead increasing the share of employees with bachelor’s degree. Moreover, the difference in the composition of human capital materially change the knowledge and innovation structure of the firms, with our estimates showing that pollution decreases innovations that demand a high level of creativity, such as publications and inventions, while increasing innovations with a relatively low level of creativity, such as design patents. Quantitatively, on the intensive margin, one μg/m3 increase in the annual average PM2.5 concentration leads to a 0.188 loss in the number of innovations per R&D employee. Overall, we show that air pollution has created a gap in human capital, knowledge, and innovation between firms in the north and south of China, highlighting the importance of environmental quality as a significant factor for productivity and welfare.

Keywords: Pollution; human capital; knowledge; innovation and China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O15 O30 O44 Q51 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2023-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-cse, nep-ene, nep-env, nep-ino, nep-knm, nep-sbm and nep-tid
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations:

Downloads: (external link)
https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/fil ... ohaddes_nian_yin.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:een:camaaa:2023-01

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CAMA Working Papers from Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Cama Admin ().

 
Page updated 2024-05-22
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2023-01