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Did COVID-19 Improve Air Quality Near Hubei?

Douglas Almond, Xinming Du, Shuang Zhang

NBER Working Paper No. 27086
Issued in May 上下棋牌
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics, Health Economics

Ambient pollution is a byproduct of economic activity. It has been widely reported that COVID-19 and associated lockdowns have generated large improvements in air quality worldwide, including to China上下棋牌's notoriously-poor air quality. We analyze China上下棋牌's official pollution monitor data and account for the large, recurrent improvement in air quality following Lunar New Year (LNY), which essentially coincided with lockdowns in 上下棋牌. With the important exception of NO2, China上下棋牌's air quality improvements in 上下棋牌 are smaller than we should expect near the pandemic's epicenter: Hubei province. Compared with LNY improvements experienced in 2018 and 2019 in Hubei, we see smaller improvements in SO2 while ozone concentrations increased in both relative and absolute terms (roughly doubling). Similar patterns are found for the six provinces neighboring Hubei. We conclude that whether COVID-19 actually decreased pollution in China上下棋牌 depends on the pollutant and reference period considered.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27086

 
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