【Empirical seminar】Ambient Air Pollution and Helping Behavior: Evidence from the Streets in Beijing

  • 研討會日期 : 2024-04-16
  • 時間 : 14:30
  • 主講人 : Professor Simon Chang (張綱紘)
  • 地點 : Conference room C103
  • 主持人 : Professor Kamhon Kan
  • 演講者簡介 : Professor Simon Chang received his PhD from Michigan State University in 2009. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia. His research interests are Health Economics, Labor Economics, Demographic Economics, and Education Economics.
  • 演講摘要 : Air pollution permeates through the fabric of our daily lives. However, our understanding of whether air pollution influences human prosocial behavior is still limited, despite the crucial role prosocial behavior plays in upholding human society. Motivated by a growing body of research linking air pollution to human mental wellbeing, we conducted a large-scale lost letter experiment with a novel design across all seasons in Beijing to study whether ambient air pollution influences helping behavior. We assessed ambient air pollution levels by both fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and coarse particulate matter (PM10). To mitigate the endogeneity bias, we used thermal inversions to instrument for the particulate matters. We found that ambient air pollution exposure increased the probability for a lost letter to be picked up and posted. Our finding suggests that when exposed to ambient air pollution, individuals may cope with the resulting stress or adverse mental states by helping others.