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Health Effects of Air Pollution: Evidence from China
Boya Liu 2019.10.10
Air pollution in China is causing significantly negative health effect. The issue is fueled by China’s transition to an aging society with a climbing population of elders characterized by great physiological and social vulnerability. Despite the existing investigation on the health effect of air pollution, evidence in China is lack based on the empirical ground, particularly for the elderly. In this study, I examine how air pollution level affects the hospital visits of the elderly in China. Combining data from China Health and Retirement longitudinal Study (CHARLS) and city-level Air Quality Index (AQI) of 2011 and 2013, we conduct individual random effect Probit and fixed-effect Logistic model to eliminate endogeneity from sorting problems and harvesting issues. Results show that increasing air pollution level resulted in negative health effects on the elders, and significantly raised their hospital visits. These effects are more serious for males, aged individuals, low-educated, smoker, and the poor people. The findings indicate the potential benefit of air pollution reduction and provide policy implications for both environmental regulation and health service management.
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