Economic Inequality and Air Pollution
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Meredith Fowlie, University of California-Berkeley
Discrimination in Ambient Pollution Monitoring?
AbstractIn the United States, ambient air quality is regulated through National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Enforcement of these standards is delegated to state and sub-state regulators who are also tasked with designing their own monitoring networks for ambient pollution. Past work has found evidence consistent with strategic behavior: local regulators strategically avoid pollution hotspots when siting monitors. This paper assesses whether income and race have historically played a role in monitor siting decisions.
Estimating Inequality in Air Pollution Exposure
AbstractAir pollution exposure has traditionally been assessed using a sparse network of ambient monitors that measure pollution concentrations directly. In the U.S., compliance with ambient air quality standards is determined on the basis of measurements averaged to the county level. This sparse measurement fails to capture significant spatial variation in air pollution concentrations. Increasingly rich data and associated methodological advances now make it possible to estimate pollution concentrations at a much finer spatial scale. We assess the implications of using spatially disaggregated estimates of air pollution concentrations–versus relatively sparse direct measurements- to characterize variation in air pollution exposure and compliance along income and race dimensions.
- Q5 - Environmental Economics