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IZA World of Labor panel discussion on environment and health

Classification Environment

IZA World of Labor panel discussion on environment and health with Ben Elsner from University College Dublin, J. Cristobal Ruiz-Tagle at London School of Economics and Political Science and Claudia Persico at the American University of Washington D.C.

Discussion questions include:

  • Your paper includes information that unusual air pollution reduces the vote share of an incumbent party in Germany. Neat result, but why? Also, would you expect the same result in a country with more direct elections, i.e., the U.S.? 
  • You show that unusual air pollution increases the suicide rate in the U.S. Why? Also, does it increase suicide attempts, or just make attempts more successful? What would you expect?
  • You show that introducing solar-powered electricity generation in an area cuts hospital admissions for incidents of respiratory disease. I can easily see why; but is this effect large enough to matter: how can we value it, and how much of the cost of installing solar power might it offset?
  • All these results, and the papers imply that people are or should at least subconsciously be aware of the effects that you have documented. So why isn’t there more outcry, more push toward action on climate change?
  • What other effects that have not yet been documented might you expect? E.g., effects on development of as yet unborn children; differential effects on less-educated workers’ ability to function compared to more educated workers?
Find related IZA World of Labor content on environment and health on our key topic page: Environmental regulation and the labor market.

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