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
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: Suggested Citation