City Quality of Life Dynamics: The Case of Los Angeles Smog

34 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 1998

See all articles by Matthew E. Kahn

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 1998


The Los Angeles region has the highest smog levels in the nation. In 1976, daily smog levels exceeded extremely high levels (stage 1 at .20 parts per million) on 102 days at at least one Los Angeles area monitoring station. Despite sharp population and vehicle growth, Los Angeles ozone levels have fallen sharply. In 1996, the stage 1 ozone standard was exceeded only on 7 days. This paper uses 1980 and 1990 Los Angeles micro data to study whether this regulation induced pollution reduction has substantially increased this city's quality of life. Hedonic home price regression models and migration models are estimated to determine how compensating differentials for ozone exposure have evolved over time. The incidence of the amenity improvement is also analyzed.

JEL Classification: Q25, R12, R13

Suggested Citation

Kahn, Matthew E., City Quality of Life Dynamics: The Case of Los Angeles Smog (February 1998). Available at SSRN: or

Matthew E. Kahn (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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