Theses Doctoral

Essays on Environment and Economic Productivity

Liu, Ruinan

Heavy air pollution is a global phenomenon that affects both developing and developed countries. While many studies have estimated air pollution’s negative impact on health, no study has shown air pollution to have any impact on countries’ aggregate economic productivity. With a growing body of literature showing that air pollutants may have a significant negative impact on labor productivity, a primary input to a nation’s economic production, I hypothesize and show that ambient air pollution indeed exhibits a significant negative impact on a country’s economic productivity as measured by GDP per capita. In Chapters 1 and 2 of this dissertation, I make identification of the causal relationship between air pollution and GDP per capita using the Huai River Policy and wild res as instruments. Chapter 3 investigates the impact of temperature, another key environmental factor, on labor productivity using a rich data set comprising 4 million baseball pitches. My results provide empirical evidence for modeling economic loss in response to air pollution and climate change.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Sustainable Development
Thesis Advisors
Almond, Douglas V.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 28, 2017