Air pollution, economic activity and respiratory illness: evidence from Canadian cities, 1974-1994

Gary Koop, Ross McKitrick, Lise Tole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many studies have reported a relationship between urban air pollution levels and respiratory health problems. However, there are notable variations in results, depending on modeling approach, covariate selection, period of analysis, etc. To help clarify these factors we compare and apply two estimation approaches: model selection and Bayesian model averaging, to a new data base on 11 large Canadian cities spanning 1974 to 1994. Our data allow us to compare monthly hospital admission rates for all lung diagnostic categories to ambient levels of five common air contaminants, while controlling for income, smoking and meteorological covariates. Only in restricted models on the later sample are we able to replicate a link between hospital admissions and pollution. In the most general specifications we find the health effects of air pollution are insignificant, and those that are significant run opposite to conventional expectations. Income effects are robust across specifications, suggesting that a simultaneous reduction in income and pollution could have a negative net effect on lung-related health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-885
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • air pollution
  • cities
  • environmental modelling

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