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Book Sections Year : 2022

Air Pollution and Health: Economic Implications

Olivier Chanel


In September 2021, the World Health Organization decided to implement stronger air quality guidelines for protecting health, based on the last decade of research. Ambient air pollution (AAP) was already the first environmental risk to health in terms of number of premature deaths, and this decision suggests that the risk was seriously underestimated. This chapter covers the relationship between AAP and health from an economic perspective. The first part presents the major regulated air pollutants and their related health effects, the way population exposure is measured, and the individual vulnerability and susceptibility to AAP-related effects. Then, the main approaches that estimate the relationships between health effects and air pollutants are covered: pure observational and interventional/quasi-experimental studies. Up-to-date reviews of the most robust relationships, and of the main findings of interventional/causal inference methods, are detailed. Next, impact assessments studies are tackled and some recent global assessments of health impacts due to AAP are presented. Once calculated, the health impacts can be expressed in monetary terms to enter the decision-making process. The relevant approaches for valuing market and nonmarket health impacts – market prices, revealed and stated preferences – are critically outlined, and their adequation with the AAP context examined. Finally, the economic health-related impacts of AAP are presented and discussed, with specific sections devoted to the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach and inequity-related issues at national and international levels. This chapter concludes with a widening of the perspective that tackles interactions between AAP on the one hand and climate change and indoor pollution on the other hand.
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hal-03870621 , version 1 (24-11-2022)



Olivier Chanel. Air Pollution and Health: Economic Implications. K. F. Zimmermann. Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics, Springer International Publishing, pp.1-42, 2022, 978-3-319-57365-6. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-57365-6_245-1⟩. ⟨hal-03870621⟩
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