Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
National Institute of Economic Research

No 87: Air Quality and Morbidity: Concentration-response Relationships for Sweden

Eva Samakovlis (), Anni Huhtala (), Tom Bellander () and Magnus Svartengren ()
Additional contact information
Eva Samakovlis: National Institute of Economic Research, Postal: National Institute of Economic Research, P.O. Box 3116, SE-103 62 Stockholm, Sweden
Anni Huhtala: MTT Economic Research, Postal: Luutnantintie 13, Fin-00410 Helsinki
Tom Bellander: Department of Environmental Health, Postal: Department of Environmental Health, Stockholm County Council
Magnus Svartengren: Department of Public Health Sciences, Postal: Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute

Abstract: The study investigates the morbidity impacts of air pollution when pollution may affect both the likelihood and duration of respiratory problems. The relationship between comparatively low pollutant levels and respiratory ailments is estimated using Swedish data, and the change in respiratory-related restricted activity days (RRAD) due to a unit change in NO2 is calculated. The analysis pays particular attention to overdispersion, the high proportion of zero values and the peak in the RRAD distribution, problems that have not been addressed thoroughly in previous studies. Our results suggest that it is a challenging task to set air quality standards for environments where modes increases in pollutant concentrations may significantly prolong respiratory health problems for the most vulnerable individuals.

Keywords: air quality; concentration-response; health; respiratory restricted activity days

JEL-codes: C24; I12

32 pages, January 1, 2004

Note: This paper is published as: Samakovlis, Eva, Anni Huhtala, Tom Bellander and Magnus Svartengren (2005)"Valuing health effects of air pollution-Focus on concentration-response-functions", Journal of Urban Economics, 58, pages 230-249.

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