IdEP Seminar "Racial Disparities in the Health Effects from Air Pollution: Evidence from Ports", Kenneth Gillingham

Institute of Economics

Date: 26.10.2021 / 12:30 - 13:30

This study examines the uneven effects of air pollution from maritime ports on physical and mental health across racial groups. We exploit quasi-random variation in vessels in port from weather events far out in the ocean to estimate how port traffic influences air pollution and human health. We find that one additional vessel in a port over a year leads to 3.0 hospital visits per thousand Black residents within 25 miles of the port and only 1.0 per thousand for whites. We assess a port-related environmental regulation and show that the policy can help alleviate racial inequalities in health outcomes. Keywords: air pollution, health, environmental justice, quasi-experiment, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity design.

This paper is joint work with Pei Huang (ZEW and Yale University)

Kenneth Gillingham
Professor of Economics at Yale University and NBER