Essays on Environmental Economics

Amanzadeh, Naser | 2020

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  1. Type of Document: Ph.D. Dissertation
  2. Language: Farsi
  3. Document No: 53363 (44)
  4. University: Sharif University of Technology
  5. Department: Management and Economics
  6. Advisor(s): Fatemi Ardestani, Farshad; Vesal, Mohammad
  7. Abstract:
  8. The relationship between the environment and human life has long been considered by researchers. Technological growth in the last century, by the intensification of natural resources usage, led to environmental degradation, and thus the importance of recognizing the relationship between human life and the environment has doubled. The present dissertation is organized in three chapters, in each of which we investigate the impacts of a dimension of environmental degradation on human well-being.In the first chapter, we investigate the effect of drought on expenditure and income per capita of Iranian households. To do this, we combine the expenditure and income data of more than 600,000 urban and rural households from 1998 to 2018 with district-level 12-month SPEI drought index for the same period. Using a fixed-effect model and therefore relying on the year-by-year variation of drought, we try to causally identify the effect of drought on household expenditure and income. Our results show that drought reduces the expenditure of rural and urban households by 7.7 and 3.7 percent, respectively, and the effects increase with increasing severity of the drought.In chapter two, we investigate the effect of weather on income and expenditure in Iran. We shed light on the mechanisms of the weather impact on income per capita and the heterogeneities of the effects among different types of households. To do this, we merge district-level daily temperature and precipitation measures with annual income and expenditure of rural and urban households from 1998 to 2018. Using within district variations in temperature and precipitation, we show that a one Celsius degree increase in annual temperature leads to an 8.1 percent decrease in rural per capita expenditure. A 100 mm increase in annual precipitation also leads to 1.5 percent increase in the same variable. Interestingly, we find a smaller but negative and significant impact on urban households as well. The results are robust to several specifications and sample checks. All the effects are stronger for the poorer households. The temperature increase effect is larger for people living in the warmer districts, and with a lower percentage of irrigated agriculture.In the third chapter, we combine pollution data with test scores from a large testing institution in Iran between 2012 and 2017 to quantify the impact of short-term exposure to air pollution on test performance. We use visibility as an instrument for exposure to PM10 and PM2.5 on the exam day in a student fixed effects specification to study the impact of PM. We find that a one standard deviation increase in PM10 and PM2.5 is respectively associated with 0.047 and 0.029 of a standard deviation decrease in test scores. The effect is larger for males and analytical subjects. The results are robust to the inclusion of other pollutants and several specification checks
  9. Keywords:
  10. Air Pollution ; Drought ; Climate Change ; Environmental Economics ; Household Expenditure and Income

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