NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Shuai Chen

Zhejiang University
China

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Zhejiang University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2018Air Pollution and Mental Health: Evidence from China
with Paulina Oliva, Peng Zhang: w24686
A large body of literature estimates the effect of air pollution on health. However, most of these studies have focused on physical health, while the effect on mental health is limited. Using the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) covering 12,615 urban residents during 2014 – 2015, we find significantly positive effect of air pollution – instrumented by thermal inversions – on mental illness. Specifically, a one-standard-deviation (18.04 μg/m3) increase in average PM2.5 concentrations in the past month increases the probability of having a score that is associated with severe mental illness by 6.67 percentage points, or 0.33 standard deviations. Based on average health expenditures associated with mental illness and rates of treatment among those with symptoms, we calculate that these effec...
November 2017The Effect of Air Pollution on Migration: Evidence from China
with Paulina Oliva, Peng Zhang: w24036
This paper looks at the effects of air pollution on migration in China using changes in the average strength of thermal inversions over five-year periods as a source of exogenous variation for medium-run air pollution levels. Our findings suggest that air pollution is responsible for large changes in inflows and outflows of migration in China. More specifically, we find that independent changes in air pollution of the magnitude that occurred in China in the course of our study (between 1996 and 2010) are capable of reducing floating migration inflows by 50 percent and of reducing population through net outmigration by 5 percent in a given county. We find that these inflows are primarily driven by well educated people at the beginning of their professional careers, leading to substantial ch...
 
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