When Particulate Matter Strikes Cities: Social Disparities and Health Costs of Air Pollution

72 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2019 Last revised: 5 Aug 2020

See all articles by Matilde Giaccherini

Matilde Giaccherini

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS); CESifo

Joanna Kopinska

Sapienza University of Rome - Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economich; University of Rome Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS)

Alessandro Palma

Gran Sasso Science Institute; University of Rome Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS)

Date Written: August 1, 2019

Abstract

We investigate the heterogeneous effects of daily particular matter (PM) pollution on Italian hospitalizations and their costs. We exploit public transportation strikes as plausibly-exogenous shocks in PM. We find that young individuals, an arguably healthy age group, exhibit economically meaningful responses to changes in air pollution. A higher prevalence of pollution-induced hospitalizations also exists among the elderly, low educated individuals and migrants coming from low income countries. Our results imply a large role for differential avoidance behavior driving heterogeneous marginal effects. PM exposure also affects the intensive margin since pollution-induced hospitalizations are not only more frequent but they are characterized by a higher complexity, generating additional costs.

Keywords: health effects of air pollution, public transportation strikes, hospitalization costs, environmental inequality

JEL Classification: I14, Q53, R41

Suggested Citation

Giaccherini, Matilde and Kopinska, Joanna and Palma, Alessandro, When Particulate Matter Strikes Cities: Social Disparities and Health Costs of Air Pollution (August 1, 2019). CEIS Working Paper No. 467, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3430573 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3430573

Matilde Giaccherini (Contact Author)

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome, I-00133
Italy

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Joanna Kopinska

Sapienza University of Rome - Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economich ( email )

Rome
Italy

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome
Italy

Alessandro Palma

Gran Sasso Science Institute ( email )

viale Francesco Crispi, 7
L'Aquila, 67100
Italy

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome, I-00133
Italy

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