Are Current Levels of Air Pollution in England Too High? The Impact of Pollution on Population Mortality

41 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Katharina Janke

Katharina Janke

Lancaster University

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

Date Written: December 2007

Abstract

We examine the relationship between common sources of airborne pollution and population mortality in present day England. The current air quality limit values are low by both historical and international standards, and these are set at levels which are believed not to be harmful to health. We assess whether this view is correct. We use data at local authority level for the period 1998 to 2004 to examine whether current levels of airborne pollution, as measured by annual mean concentrations of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter less than 10 μm in diameter (PM10) and ozone, are associated with excess deaths. We examine all cause mortality and deaths from specific cardiovascular and respiratory causes that are known to be exacerbated by air pollution. We exploit the panel nature of our data to control for any unobserved time-invariant associations at local authority level between high levels of pollution and poor population health and estimate multi-pollutant models to allow for the fact that three of the pollutants are closely correlated. We find higher levels of PM10 and ozone are associated with higher mortality rates. The size of the effects we find translates into around 4,500 deaths per annum.

JEL Classification: I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Janke, Katharina and Propper, Carol, Are Current Levels of Air Pollution in England Too High? The Impact of Pollution on Population Mortality (December 2007). LSE STICERD Research Paper No. CASE128. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1159359

Katharina Janke

Lancaster University ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/propper.htm

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