Energy powers the modern world, fueling innovation and improving people’s lives. But humanity’s energy usage is also generating levels of pollution that are substantially shortening human lifespans and causing disruptive climate change. Finding a way to supply the energy needed for human development without risking health or the environment is one of the world’s most important challenges: the Global Energy Challenge.

To promote and discuss current research on these issues, the Kenneth C. Griffin Applied Economics Incubator and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) hosted a series of academic conferences on each component of the Global Energy Challenge: energy access and markets, air pollution, and climate change.

The Socioeconomic Effects of Air Pollution

Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. This conference looked at the effects of air pollution on human health and society as well as the effectiveness of government policies to confront it.


Friday, April 15, 2022

8:00 am–9:00 am


9:00 am–10:30 am

Session 1: Dust, Particulate Matter, and Air Transport

  • Muyang Ge, Sherzod Akhundjanov, Eric Edwards, and Reza Oladi,  “Left in the Dust? Environmental and Labor Effects of Rural-Urban Water Sales”
  • Seonmin (Will) Heo, Koichiro Ito, and Rao Kotamarthi, “Mortality Impacts of Transboundary Air Pollution: Evidence from East Asia”
10:30 am–11:00 am


11:00 am–12:30 pm

Session 2: Firms’ Responses to Pollution and Regulation

  • Jorge Alé-Chilet, Cuicui Chen, Mathias Reynaert, and Jing Li, “Collusion against Environmental Regulation”
  • Vittorio Bassi, Nancy Lozano Garcia, Matthew Kahn, Tommaso Porzio, and Jeanne Sorin, “Pollution In Ugandan Cities: Do Managers Avoid It or Adapt in Place?”
12:30 pm–1:30 pm


1:30 pm–3:00 pm

Session 3: Air Pollution and Economic Outcomes

  • Jonathan Colmer, John Voorheis, and Brennan Williams, “Air Pollution and Economic Opportunity in the United States”
  • Patrick Behrer, “Earth, Wind, and Fire: The impact of anti-poverty efforts on Indian agriculture and air pollution”
3:00 pm–3:30 pm


3:30 pm–5:00 pm

Session 4: Distributional Impacts of Pollution and Regulation

  • Danae Hernandez-Cortes, “The Distributional Consequences of Incomplete Regulation”
  • Daniel Kaffine and Nicole Mundt, “The distributional benefits of emission reductions from renewable energy”
5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Cocktail Reception and Dinner

Areas of Focus: Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...