International Spillover Effects of Air Pollution: Evidence from Mortality and Health Data
We study the international spillover effects of air pollution by developing a framework that integrates recent advances in atmospheric science into econometric estimation with microdata on mortality and health. Combining transboundary particle trajectory data with the universe of individual-level mortality and emergency room visit data in South Korea, we find that transboundary air pollution from China significantly increases mortality and morbidity in South Korea. Using these estimates, we show that a recent Chinese environmental policy “war on pollution” generated a substantial international spillover benefit. Finally, we examine China’s strategic pollution reductions and provide their implications for the potential Coasian bargaining.
We would like to thank Keisuke Ito and David Xu for excellent research assistance, and Severin Borenstein, Susanna Berkouwer, Judson Boomhower, Maureen Cropper, Olivier Deschênes, Dave Donaldson, Michael Greenstone, Rema Hanna, Danae Hernández-Cortés, Kelsey Jack, Ryan Kellogg, Shanjun Li, Kyle Meng, Joe Shapiro, Shaoda Wang, and seminar participants at UC Berkeley Energy Camp, the Griffin Conferences on Socioeconomic Effects of Air Pollution, and the Coase Project Conference for their helpful comments. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Global Energy Challenge by Argonne National Laboratory and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and the Griffin Applied Economics Incubator on the Global Energy Challenge. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.