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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Health Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Health Economics, 38, 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2014.07.002

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Air pollution, avoidance behaviour and children's respiratory health: Evidence from England

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Health Economics
Volume38
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)23-42
Publication statusPublished
Early online date4/08/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Despite progress in air pollution control, concerns remain over the health impact of poor air quality. Governments increasingly issue air quality information to enable vulnerable groups to avoid exposure. Avoidance behaviour potentially biases estimates of the health effects of air pollutants. But avoidance behaviour imposes a cost on individuals and therefore may not be taken in all circumstances. This paper exploits panel data at the English local authority level to estimate the relationship between children's daily hospital emergency admissions for respiratory diseases and common air pollutants, while allowing for avoidance behaviour in response to air pollution warnings. A 1% increase in nitrogen dioxide or ozone concentrations increases hospital admissions by 0.1%. For the subset of asthma admissions – where avoidance is less costly – there is evidence of avoidance behaviour. Ignoring avoidance behaviour, however, does not result in statistically significant underestimation of the health effect of air pollution.

Bibliographic note

Date of Acceptance: 17/07/2014 18 month embargo This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Health Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Health Economics, 38, 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2014.07.002