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When Particulate Matter Strikes Cities: Social Disparities and Health Costs of Air Pollution

Matilde Giaccherini (), Joanna Kopinska () and Alessandro Palma ()

No 467, CEIS Research Paper from Tor Vergata University, CEIS

Abstract: We investigate the heterogeneous effects of daily particular matter (PM) pollution on Italian hospitalizations and their costs. We exploit public transportation strikes as plausibly-exogenous shocks in PM. We find that young individuals, an arguably healthy age group, exhibit economically meaningful responses to changes in air pollution. A higher prevalence of pollution-induced hospitalizations also exists among the elderly, low educated individuals and migrants coming from low income countries. Our results imply a large role for differential avoidance behavior driving heterogeneous marginal effects. PM exposure also affects the intensive margin since pollution-induced hospitalizations are not only more frequent but they are characterized by a higher complexity, generating additional costs.

Keywords: health effects of air pollution; public transportation strikes; hospitalization costs; environmental inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 Q53 R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 72 pages
Date: 2019-08-01, Revised 2020-08-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env, nep-eur, nep-hea, nep-res and nep-ure
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