Guojun He, Tong Liu, Maigeng Zhou

This study uses satellite data to detect agricultural straw burning and estimates its impact on air pollution and health in China. We find that straw burning increases particulate matter pollution and causes people to die from cardiorespiratory diseases. We estimate that a 10 ​μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 increases mortality by 3.25%. Middle-aged and old people in rural areas are particularly sensitive to straw burning pollution. Exploratory analysis of China’s programs to subsidize straw recycling suggests that extending these programs to all the straw burning regions would bring about a health benefit that is an order of magnitude larger than the cost.

Areas of Focus: Environment
Definition
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
Definition
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...
EPIC-China
Definition
EPIC-China
China is indisputably critical to addressing the global energy challenge. China is one of the world’s biggest economies, its top carbon emitter, and among its most polluted countries. Yet, China...