Deregulation in a Time of Pandemic: Does Pollution Increase Coronavirus Cases or Deaths?
Claudia Persico () and
Kathryn R. Johnson
Additional contact information
Kathryn R. Johnson: American University
No 13231, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
The COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus, is currently spreading around the world. While a growing literature suggests that exposure to pollution can cause respiratory illness and increase deaths among the elderly, little is known about whether increases in pollution could cause additional or more severe infections from COVID-19, which typically manifests as a respiratory infection. Using variation in pollution induced by a rollback of enforcement of environmental regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a difference in differences design, we estimate the effects of increased pollution on county-level COVID-19 deaths and cases. Despite popular media coverage to the contrary, we find that counties with more Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites saw increases in pollution following the EPA's rollback of enforcement, while counties with fewer sites saw a smaller increase in pollution. We find that increases in pollution are associated with increases in cases and deaths from COVID-19.
Keywords: pollution; COVID-19; coronavirus; health; mortality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q53 I10 I14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env, nep-hea and nep-res
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13231
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().