Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 2002 Summer Conference: The Effect of Abnormal Air Pollution on Crime

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Identifying a pattern in air pollution's effects across crime types is important for understanding how air pollution impacts cognition. Limited pollution avoidance behavior and high shares of reported property crimes make the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan a suitable setting to study effects of air pollution across property crime types. We estimate statistically significant effects of air pollution on high-stakes property crime and robbery. These distinct findings provide new support for the theory that air pollution distorts decisions through higher discounting, in addition to increasing aggression. Our identification strategy employs special geographic features of Almaty: cleaner mountain winds and frequent temperature inversions. Using a PPML control function approach new to the air pollution literature, we estimate a PM2.5 elasticity of the expected crime rate more than four times as large as similar estimates from cleaner cities.
PeriodJun 2022
Held atUniversity of Miami, United States, Florida
Degree of RecognitionInternational