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Virtual Seminar | Social Cost of Lifestyle Adaptation: Air Pollution and Outdoor Physical Exercise
Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM EST
Category: Events

Speaker: Yichun Fan (MIT)

Paper Title: Social Cost of Lifestyle Adaptation: Air Pollution and Outdoor Physical Exercise

Abstract: The social cost of environmental hazards depends on the well-being impacts of both exposure and adaptation. While the monetary expenditure of adaptation is increasingly considered, little research assesses the social cost associated with non-market lifestyle adaptation. Based on a longitudinal database of 27 million exercise records of 243,395 Chinese residents, I present evidence that urbanites limit their outdoor physical exercise in response to air pollution. Employing imported pollution from upwind cities as instrumental variable, I estimate that heavy air pollution leads to a 28% reduction in urbanites’ outdoor exercise likelihood. Information plays a crucial role as behavioral moderator: (i) Outdoor exercise rate plummets at the “heavy pollution” threshold and during the issuance of alerts; (ii) Residents in well-educated neighborhoods exhibit more than double the responsiveness to air pollution and alerts due to their greater awareness of pollution-related health risks. I discuss the health costs associated with this adaptation behavior and policy implications.

Registration Link:  https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wT5Nn17AQLioXvbggISEZA 

Contact: Luis Eduardo Quintero | [email protected]