The health costs of the industrial leap forward in China: Evidence from the sulfur dioxide emissions of coal-fired power stations

Shuo Chen, Yiran Li*, Qin Yao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we attempt to empirically test the effects of air pollution on public health in China. Using three-stage least squares (3SLS) to solve the potential endogeneity problem in sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, we find that air pollution has significant negative effects on public health. Specifically, a 1% increase in SO2 emissions is found to lead to 0.067 and 0.004 more deaths per 100,000 population due to respiratory diseases and lung cancer, respectively. In terms of absolute magnitude, every one million ton increase in SO2 emissions results in 0.735 and 0.052 extra deaths due to respiratory diseases and lung cancer per 100,000 population, respectively. Moreover, SO2 emissions result in 230,000 extra deaths every year and the related economic costs over the study period amount to RMB 8.179 billion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-83
Number of pages16
JournalChina Economic Review
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

User-Defined Keywords

  • Sulfur dioxide emissions
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Lung cancer
  • China

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