The proposed research estimates the external costs of straw burning in China. We will investigate how farmers’ burning of agricultural residues affects local air pollution, people’s physical and mental health as well as defensive expenditures. We will construct a novel dataset that links satellite-detected straw burning to ground-level air quality, mortality, mental health, online search and sales at the county level between 2013 and 2015. By applying a set of fixed-effects and instrumental variable regression models, we can credibly estimate the impacts of straw burning (and air pollution) and quantify the external costs of straw burning. We will further explore the heterogeneous effects of straw burning for different sub populations. Notably, following the expansion of coverage of China’s environmental monitoring and disease surveillance networks in 2013, we will be able to provide the first estimates of air pollution effects separately for rural residents and urban residents.
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