The Causal Effects of Long-term PM2.5 Exposure on COVID-19 in India

43 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2020 Last revised: 31 Mar 2021

Date Written: November 26, 2020

Abstract

This study investigates the causal effects of long-term PM2.5 exposure on COVID-19 cases, deaths, and fatality rates in India by using an instrumental variables approach based on thermal inversion episodes. The estimation results indicate that a 1% increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to an increase in COVID-19 deaths by 5.6 percentage points and an increase in the COVID-19 fatality rate by 0.027 percentage points, but this exposure is not necessarily correlated with COVID-19 cases. People with underlying health conditions such as respiratory illness caused by exposure to air pollution might have a higher risk of death following SARS-CoV-2 infection. This finding might also apply to other countries where high levels of air pollution are a critical issue in terms of development and public health.

Note: Funding: This work was supported by JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) KAKENHI Grant Number 18K01580 and the Keio Gijuku Academic Development Funds.

Declaration of Interests: Authors do not have any conflicts of interest.

Keywords: COVID-19; Ambient Air Pollution; PM2.5; Instrumental Variables Approach; Thermal Inversion; India

JEL Classification: I18, I15, Q53, O13

Suggested Citation

Yamada, Takahiro and Yamada, Hiroyuki and Mani, Muthukumara, The Causal Effects of Long-term PM2.5 Exposure on COVID-19 in India (November 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3738257 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3738257

Takahiro Yamada (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Hiroyuki Yamada

Keio University ( email )

2-15-45 Mita
Minato-ku
Tokyo, 108-8345
Japan

Muthukumara Mani

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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