Socioeconomic Effects of Air Pollution

Friday, April 15, 2022 · David Rubenstein Forum, University of Chicago

Energy powers the modern world, fueling innovation and improving people’s lives. But humanity’s energy usage is also generating levels of pollution that are substantially shortening human lifespans and causing disruptive climate change. Finding a way to supply the energy needed for human development without risking health or the environment is one of the world’s most important challenges: the Global Energy Challenge.

To promote and discuss current research on these issues, the Kenneth C. Griffin Applied Economics Incubator and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will host a series of academic conferences this spring on each component of the Global Energy Challenge: energy access and markets, air pollution, and climate change.

We would like to invite you to join us for the second conference in this series on April 15 at the University of Chicago. The conference will feature the latest research on the “Socioeconomic Effects of Air Pollution.”

Register Here


8:00am–9:00am Breakfast 
9:00am–10:30am Session 1: Dust, particulate matter, and air transport
• Muyang Ge, Sherzod Akhundjanov, Eric Edwards, and Reza Oladi, “Left in the Dust? Environmental and Labor Effects of Rural-Urban Water Sales”
• Seonmin (Will) Heo, Koichiro Ito, and Rao Kotamarthi, “Mortality Impacts of Transboundary Air Pollution: Evidence from East Asia”
10:30am–11:00am Break
11:00am–12:30pm Session 2: Firms’ responses to pollution and regulation
• Jorge Alé-Chilet, Cuicui Chen, Mathias Reynaert, and Jing Li, “Collusion against Environmental Regulation”
• Vittorio Bassi, Nancy Lozano Garcia, Matthew Kahn, Tommaso Porzio, and Jeanne Sorin, “Pollution In Ugandan Cities: Do Managers Avoid It or Adapt in Place?”
12:30pm–1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm–3:00pm Session 3: Air pollution and economic outcomes
•  Jonathan Colmer, John Voorheis, and Brennan Williams, “Air Pollution and Economic Opportunity in the United States”
• Patrick Behrer, “Earth, Wind, and Fire: The impact of anti-poverty efforts on Indian agriculture and air pollution”
3:00pm–3:30pm Break
3:30pm–5:00pm Session 4: Distributional impacts of pollution and regulation
• Danae Hernandez-Cortes, “The Distributional Consequences of Incomplete Regulation”
• Daniel Kaffine and Nicole Mundt, “The distributional benefits of emission reductions from renewable energy”






This convening is open to all invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination requirements and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.

This is a mask-optional convening. We strongly encourage unvaccinated individuals and those preferring to wear masks to do so.