EAERE 2020
Berlin, Germany
24 Jun - 27 Jun 2020
25th Annual Conference
of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Pre-conference Workshop: The Economic Impacts of Air Pollution and the Implications for Policy

June 24, 2020

Organizers: Antoine Dechezleprêtre (OECD), Elisa Lanzi (OECD), Tobias Kruse (OECD)

 

Background and Aims

It is widely recognised that air pollution is a major threat to human health in the 21st century. The World Health Organization estimates that only 10% of people globally live in areas where air pollution is below recommended levels and that air pollution is responsible for 7 million deaths annually (one in eight deaths globally).  In addition to these mortality effects, a series of recent empirical studies at the micro-level suggest that air pollution also has large negative impacts on labour productivity because it induces absence from work due to poor health and reduces individuals’ cognitive and physical capabilities.

The consequences of air pollution on human health have led to increased attention to the issue and the introduction of increasingly stringent environmental regulations, but controversy remains over their appropriate stringency levels. Imposing environmental regulations may imply a trade-off between generating benefits to health (and therefore productivity) and imposing costs on the economy. Determining the “optimal” level of air pollution control policies hence requires a good understanding of their economic costs and benefits and how these are distributed across society.

Recent policy-initiatives to improve air quality in urban areas, such as banning polluting cars from city-centres, have emphasized challenges arising from the political economy and public acceptability of more stringent air pollution regulation. Future policies face the challenge of increasing levels of stringency, while managing any socio-economic impacts arising from such policies.

The objective of this one-day pre-conference workshop is to bring together leading experts from academia and policymaking to explore the frontiers of research on the economic impacts of air pollution and their implications for policy. In particular, the workshop will bring together experts from the empirical and modelling community, in order to understand how empirical studies can best feed into modelling exercises.

The workshop will focus on a number of broad guiding questions:  (1) What are the health impacts of air pollution? (2) What are the socio-economic impacts of air pollution? (3) What are the challenges in designing effective and publicly acceptable air quality policies and regulations?

Last update on March 2, 2020