Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Steven McMullen, Economics

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The adverse effects of deteriorating air quality on both human health and labor markets have become well-documented in epidemiological and economic literature. Health-conscious policymakers are presented with the challenge of implementing environmental regulations without causing substantial economic disturbance to industry employment, productivity, and wages. However, the social benefits of better health outcomes may correspond with economic benefits that outweigh the costs. Using data from the Current Population Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index, this study uses a multivariate fixed effects regression approach to estimate the relationship between air quality and various measures of labor market participation across 101 metropolitan areas in the United States between 1994–2017. Understanding the reflection of health outcomes in labor market participation may assist the quantification of economic benefits and contribute to a cost-benefit analysis of regulation policy. Empirical analysis suggests that variation in air quality has a negligible impact on US labor markets.

Included in

Economics Commons