Air Pollution Exposure and COVID-19

31 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2020

See all articles by Matthew Cole

Matthew Cole

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics

Ceren Ozgen

University of Birmingham

Eric Strobl

Ecole Polytechnique, Paris - Department of Economic Sciences; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

In light of the existing preliminary evidence of a link between Covid-19 and poor air quality, which is largely based upon correlations, we estimate the relationship between long term air pollution exposure and Covid-19 in 355 municipalities in the Netherlands. Using detailed secondary and administrative data we find compelling evidence of a positive relationship between air pollution, and particularly PM2.5 concentrations, and Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and deaths. This relationship persists after controlling for a wide range of explanatory variables. Our results indicate that a 1 μ/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentrations is associated with 9.4 more Covid-19 cases, 3.0 more hospital admissions, and 2.3 more deaths. The relationship between Covid-19 and air pollution withstands a number of sensitivity and robustness exercises including instrumenting pollution to mitigate potential endogeneity and modelling spatial spillovers using spatial econometric techniques.

Keywords: COVID-19, air pollution, Netherlands, spatial spillovers

JEL Classification: I21, I23, Q53

Suggested Citation

Cole, Matthew A. and Ozgen, Ceren and Strobl, Eric, Air Pollution Exposure and COVID-19. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13367, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3628242

Matthew A. Cole (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics ( email )

United States

Ceren Ozgen

University of Birmingham ( email )

Department of Economics
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Eric Strobl

Ecole Polytechnique, Paris - Department of Economic Sciences ( email )

Ecole Polytechnique
Department of Economics
Paris, 75005
France

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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