Mountains of Evidence: The Effects of Abnormal Air Pollution on Crime

David De Remer, Birzhan Batkeyev

Research output: Working paper


We find that PM2.5 air pollution increases crime in a city that ranks in the worst two percentiles worldwide for dirty winter air. Our identification strategy employs distinct geographic features of Almaty, Kazakhstan: cleaner mountain winds and frequent temperature inversions. Using a PPML control function approach, we estimate a PM2.5 elasticity of the expected crime rate more than four times as large as studies of cleaner cities. We identify effects of PM2.5 on robbery and high-stakes property crime. Our results support theory that air pollution induces both aggression and a disregard for consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 29 2022

Publication series

NameNUGSB Working Paper Series


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