Part II: Long-term and subclinical impacts of air pollution

Previous research has provided credible evidence that air pollution adversely affects health in infants (Currie and Neidell, 2005; Currie et al., 2014), mortality and acute morbidity in adults (Schlenker and Walker, 2016), and the productivity of workers and students (Neidell, 2017). The objective of Part II of HEAL is to provide empirical evidence on health impacts of air pollution along three dimensions that have been understudied so far, namely (i) the impact on labor supply, (ii) interactions of this impact with labor market institutions such as sickness insurance, and (iii) the long-term effects of air pollution on health and avoidance behavior – i.e., actions taken to reduce exposure (Graff Zivin et al, 2011). 

Part II is subdivided into three subprojects. All subprojects are based on a representative panel of workers in the Spanish social security system that administrates health insurance and pension benefits for more than 95% of the workforce. The core dataset, the Muestra Continua de Vidas Laborales (MCVL), is a 4%-sample of anonymized individual work histories drawn from the universe of social security affiliates. It contains information on current and historical employment relations, as well as on personal and household characteristics. In addition, the social security administration has provided us with data on all sick leaves taken by the 1.1 million individuals in the MCVL during the years from 2005 to 2014, along with the associated diagnosis.