NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Akshaya Jha

Carnegie Mellon University
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Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Website: http://www.akshayajha.com

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2017Handle with Care: The Local Air Pollution Costs of Coal Storage.
with Nicholas Z. Muller: w23417
Burning coal is known to have environmental costs; this paper quantities the local environmental costs of transporting and storing coal at U.S. power plants for the sample period 2002-2012. We first demonstrate that a 10% increase in coal stockpiles (number of deliveries) results in a 0.07% (0.16%) increase in the average concentration of fine particulates (PM2.5) for locations up to 25 miles away from, and downwind from, plants. We next assess the impacts of PM2.5 on average adult and infant mortality rates using coal stockpiles and deliveries as instruments for PM2.5. Our findings within this instrumental variables framework indicate that a 10% increase in PM2.5 leads to a 1.1% (6.6%) increase in average adult (infant) mortality rates; these causal estimates are similar in magnitude to t...
 
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