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Links Between Air Quality and Economic Growth

Links Between Air Quality and Economic Growth: Implications for Pittsburgh

Shanthi Nataraj
Ramya Chari
Amy Richardson
Henry H. Willis
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
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  • Book Info
    Links Between Air Quality and Economic Growth
    Book Description:

    This report assesses the evidence that exists for the ways in which local air quality could influence local economic growth through health and workforce issues, quality-of-life issues, or air-quality regulations and business operations. It then extrapolates some of the existing results to the Pittsburgh region.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8402-6
    Subjects: History, Law, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Historically, Pittsburgh was a stronghold of the iron and steel industries in the United States and was known first as the Iron City and then as the Steel City. The city’s population grew from 322,000 in 1900 to more than 675,000 by 1950, but subsequently declined, as did the local iron and steel industries. Although manufacturing remains an important component of the local economy, Pittsburgh has more recently diversified its industrial base toward more service-oriented industries, such as education and health care. In 2010, the city’s population was approximately 306,000, while the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had an estimated...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Methodology
    (pp. 9-20)

    We searched the existing literature to identify and assess the evidence for potential links between air quality and economic growth. We also conducted interviews with stakeholders in the Pittsburgh region and elsewhere. These interviews complemented our literature search in two ways. First, we used the interviews to identify whether there were other critical links we had not yet identified through our literature search. Second, we used our interviews to gauge which specific links might be most applicable to the Pittsburgh region.¹ We then extrapolated evidence from selected studies to the Pittsburgh region, using baseline outcome data from the local area....

  11. CHAPTER THREE Existing Evidence for Links Between Local Air Quality and Economic Growth
    (pp. 21-36)

    In this chapter, we lay out a conceptual framework describing the three key ways in which local air quality could influence local economic growth. This framework was largely based on our review of relevant literature but also informed by our stakeholder interviews. For each of these effects, we then summarize our review of the existing evidence from the literature. Appendix A provides a table that lists the main studies we included in our literature review, along with their key assumptions, limitations, and findings. In some areas in which substantial literature exists (particularly in the literature on air quality and health,...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Extrapolating Existing Evidence to Pittsburgh
    (pp. 37-46)

    In this chapter, we extrapolate three sets of results from the existing literature to the Pittsburgh region. First, we examine the impact of attaining the NAAQS for PM2.5and ozone on key health outcomes, specifically acute bronchitis, acute myocardial infarction, asthma exacerbation, chronic bronchitis, emergency-room visits, hospital admissions, mortality, respiratory symptoms, and WLDs.¹ This analysis is based on results from nationwide studies that are used in the modeling software and on data that are for the region as a whole. Second, we conduct a more detailed analysis of the potential impact that attaining the NAAQS for ozone and PM2.5could...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions
    (pp. 47-50)

    In this study, we examined three ways in which local air quality may influence local economic growth. We assessed the evidence for each effect, based on a review of the existing literature. We then extrapolated results from selected studies to the Pittsburgh region, to provide a sense of the economic value associated with achieving the NAAQS. Our estimates are based largely on national studies and should thus be seen as a starting point for a discussion of air quality and growth in the Pittsburgh region.

    For pathway 1 (health and related workforce issues and costs), we estimated the economic value...

  14. APPENDIX A. Summary of Included Literature
    (pp. 51-70)
  15. APPENDIX B. Interview Protocol
    (pp. 71-76)
  16. APPENDIX C. Site Selection Process
    (pp. 77-80)
  17. APPENDIX D. Detailed Health Benefit Estimates
    (pp. 81-84)
  18. APPENDIX E. Industry Codes
    (pp. 85-86)
  19. References
    (pp. 87-96)