Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A Mayor’s Perspective on Tackling Air Pollution

Fu, Shihe and Viard, V. Brian (2021): A Mayor’s Perspective on Tackling Air Pollution.

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We review recent empirical economic studies on urban ambient air pollution from a mayor’s perspective. We discuss the sources of urban air pollution, the economic costs that it imposes, and the policy tools available to a mayor to alleviate it. For economic costs, we briefly summarize traditional estimates of health and mortality costs and focus on more recent evidence on mental and psychological health, labor productivity and supply, avoidance behavior, willingness to pay for clean air and long-term (multi-decade) impacts. The policy tools we evaluate include pollution information disclosure, auto license and driving restrictions, congestion tolls, public transit investments, emission standards and controls, and gasoline taxes. We also discuss challenges posed by transboundary pollution across cities and the extent to which mayors’ incentives encourage tackling air pollution under different political systems. We briefly discuss possible future research agendas.

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