Days of Haze: Environmental Information Disclosure and Intertemporal Avoidance Behavior

Joshua Graff Zivin, Matthew Neidell

NBER Working Paper No. 14271
Issued in August 2008
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics, Health Economics

In this paper, we investigate the dynamics of informational regulatory approaches by analyzing the impact of smog alerts issued on consecutive days on discretionary outdoor activities in Southern California. Short-run adjustments to transitory risk entail costs that are likely to influence the set of evasive actions pursued by those at risk. Our results confirm that the cost of intertemporally substituting activities is increasing over time: when alerts are issued on two successive days, any response on the first day has largely disappeared by the second day. Small reprieves from alerts, however, reset these costs. Our findings imply that a time-varying decision rule that accounts for multiple day air quality forecasts may improve social welfare.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14271

Published: Graff Zivin, Joshua & Neidell, Matthew, 2009. "Days of haze: Environmental information disclosure and intertemporal avoidance behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 119-128, September. citation courtesy of

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