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Urban and Regional Economics Seminars

Air pollution and sick leaves: Evidence from social security data

Laura Hospido (Bank of Spain)


Friday 30 November 2018 13:00 - 14:30

32L 2.04, 2nd Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH

About this event

We estimate the causal impact of air pollution on the incidence of sickness leaves in a representative panel of more than half a million employees affiliated to the Spanish social security system. Using more than 30 million worker-by-month observations from the period 2005-2014, our econometric approach fits a linear probability model for the share of days an individual is on sick leave in a given month. The model relates this decision to particulate matter (PM10) exposure at the place of residence, controlling for weather, individual effects, and a wide range of time-by-location controls. Identification derives from monthly variation in air pollution concentrations within municipalities. We find that particulate matter increases sick leaves in a statistically and economically significant fashion. We also explore the heterogeneity of this effect with respect to various worker and job characteristics, and find that the increase is particularly high for workers which are at a lower risk of losing their jobs, and for those with a previous medical history that includes respiratory or cardiovascular diseases.

This event will take place in 32L 2.04, 2nd Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH.

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