The Impact of Air Pollution on Labor Supply in China

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 3:30pm

This is a past event.

Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall (VPD), 103
635 Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Mingxuan Fan

Tuesday, February 20 at 3:30 in VPD 103



Abstract: In this paper, we study the relationship between air pollution, i.e. fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and labor supply in China. We use restricted individual-level panel data from the China Family Panel Survey and sub-district level remote-sensing pollution estimates. Our results indicate that an increase in PM2.5 significantly reduces the hours worked. Our individual fixed effects model shows that, among the population aged 16-75, an increase of 1 µg/m3 in PM2.5 reduces the average hours worked by 27 minutes per week. This implies that if the sub-districts were to comply with China's National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM2.5 (35 µg/m3), we would observe the hours worked to increase by more than two and half hours per worker per week. We also employ a fixed effects instrumental variable strategy, leveraging differences in city-level reductions due to the implementation of the new NAAQS. Though noisier, the estimated effect is more than twice as large. The results suggest that chronic pollution exposure has a significant effect on labor supply.



Bio: Mingxuan Fan is a PhD candidate at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her primary field is environmental economics and her research interest lies in the area of environmental regulations and their impacts. Her current research uses remote sensing data and evaluates the impact of air pollution on labor supply and health outcomes.


Sponsored by:

USC Center for Sustainability Solutions

Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop




University Park Campus



Price School of Public Policy
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