Why are Pollution Damages Lower in Developed Countries? Insights from High-Income, High-Particulate Matter Hong Kong

66 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021

See all articles by Jonathan Colmer

Jonathan Colmer

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Siying Liu

Amazon.com

Dajun Lin

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Jay Shimshack

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that marginal damages from particulate matter pollution are high in less-developed countries because they are highly polluted. Using administrative data on the universe of births and deaths, we explore birthweight and mortality effects of gestational particulate matter exposure in high-pollution yet high-income Hong Kong. The marginal effects of particulates on birthweight are large but we fail to detect an effect on neonatal mortality. We interpret our stark mortality results in a comparative analysis of pollution-mortality relationships across studies. We provide early evidence that marginal mortality damages from pollution are high in less-developed countries because they are less developed, not because they are more polluted.

JEL Classification: Q530, I150, Q560

Suggested Citation

Colmer, Jonathan and Liu, Siying and Lin, Dajun and Shimshack, Jay, Why are Pollution Damages Lower in Developed Countries? Insights from High-Income, High-Particulate Matter Hong Kong (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 9206, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3896141

Jonathan Colmer (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

237 Monroe Hall
P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-418
United States

Siying Liu

Amazon.com ( email )

Seattle, WA 98144
United States

Dajun Lin

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

237 Monroe Hall
P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-418
United States

Jay Shimshack

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

235 McCormick Rd.
P.O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
United States

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