Disguised Pollution: Industrial Activities in the Dark

54 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2019

See all articles by Sumit Agarwal

Sumit Agarwal

National University of Singapore

Yu Qin

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Real Estate

Hongjia Zhu

Jinan University

Date Written: March 25, 2019

Abstract

In this paper, we study the disguised pollution of industrial firms in China. We find that sulfur dioxide (SO2) readings increase by 15.9% in monitoring stations four hours after sunset, relative to four hours before, in high factory density areas. In addition, we also find significantly increased readings for PM2.5 and PM10 in these areas after sunset. Next, using daily hospital visits data, we document that such disguised pollution behavior has unforeseen health consequences: cumulative exposure to SO2 above 40 𝜇g/m3 for three days increases hospital visits on the entire population’s respiratory diseases by 15.6%. Inspections by the Ministry of Environmental Protection can only temporarily reduce pollution and hospital visits.

Keywords: air pollution, disguised behavior, industrial firms, inspections, health, China

JEL Classification: Q53, L51, I18, D22

Suggested Citation

Agarwal, Sumit and Qin, Yu and Zhu, Hongjia, Disguised Pollution: Industrial Activities in the Dark (March 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3359404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3359404

Sumit Agarwal

National University of Singapore ( email )

15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 117592
Singapore
8118 9025 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ushakrisna.com

Yu Qin (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Real Estate ( email )

4 Architecture Drive
Singapore 117566
Singapore

Hongjia Zhu

Jinan University ( email )

Huang Pu Da Dao Xi 601, Tian He District
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510632
China

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