The Effects of Exposure to Air Pollution on Subjective Well-Being in China

27 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Xin Zhang

Xin Zhang

Beijing Normal University (BNU) - School of Statistics

Xi Chen

Department of Health Policy and Management; Yale University - Department of Economics; Yale University - Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies; IZA

Xiaobo Zhang

Peking University - National School of Development

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of six main air pollutants on three key dimensions of subjective well-being (SWB) – life satisfaction, hedonic happiness and mental health. We match a nationally representative survey in China with local air quality and rich weather conditions according to the exact date and county of each interview. By making use of variations in exposures to air pollution across similar respondents living in the same county, we find that PM2.5 reduces hedonic happiness and increases the rate of depressive symptoms, but does not affect life satisfaction. Our results show that the benefits of reducing air pollution would be higher if the hidden costs of air pollution on SWB in China are taken into account.

Keywords: life satisfaction, hedonic happiness, depressive symptoms, air pollution, China

JEL Classification: I31, Q51, Q53

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Xin and Chen, Xi and Zhang, Xiaobo, The Effects of Exposure to Air Pollution on Subjective Well-Being in China. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12313. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390303

Xin Zhang

Beijing Normal University (BNU) - School of Statistics ( email )

Beijing, 100875
China

Xi Chen (Contact Author)

Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

60 College St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Yale University - Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies ( email )

77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://isps.yale.edu/team/xi-chen

IZA ( email )

Xiaobo Zhang

Peking University - National School of Development ( email )

Beijing, 100871
China

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