The Beneficial Impacts of Covid-19 Lockdowns on Air Pollution: Evidence from Vietnam

60 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2020

See all articles by Hai-Anh Dang

Hai-Anh Dang

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); Global Labor Organization (GLO); Vietnam National University Ha Noi; Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) - Centre for Analysis and Forecasting

Trong-Anh Trinh

World Bank

Abstract

Little evidence currently exists on the effects of COVID-19 on air quality in poorer countries, where most air pollution-linked deaths occur. We offer the first study that examines the pandemic's impacts on improving air quality in Vietnam, a lower-middle income country with worsening air pollution. Employing the Regression Discontinuity Design method to analyze a rich database that we compile from satellite air pollution data and data from various other sources, we find the concentration of NO2 to decrease by 24 to 32 percent two weeks after the COVID-19 lockdown.While this finding is robust to different measures of air quality and model specifications, the positive effects of the lockdown appear to dissipate after ten weeks. We also find that mobility restrictions are a potential channel for improved air quality. Finally, our back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that two weeks after the lockdown, the economic gains from better air quality are roughly $0.6 billion US dollars.

Keywords: COVID-19, air pollution, mobility restriction, RDD, Vietnam

JEL Classification: D00, H00, O13, Q50

Suggested Citation

Dang, Hai-Anh H. and Trinh, Trong-Anh, The Beneficial Impacts of Covid-19 Lockdowns on Air Pollution: Evidence from Vietnam. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13651, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3687127

Hai-Anh H. Dang (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/haianhhdang/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

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Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

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Vietnam National University Ha Noi ( email )

Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) - Centre for Analysis and Forecasting ( email )

1 Lieu Giai Street
Hanoi
Vietnam

Trong-Anh Trinh

World Bank

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