The Air Quality and Well-Being Effects of Low Emission Zones
The paper titled "The Air Quality and Well-Being Effects of Low Emission Zones" by Luis Sarmiento, Nicole Wägner and Aleksandar Zaklan has been published in Journal of Public Economics.
This study provides the first evidence of the subjective well-being impacts of low emission zones (LEZs) while also undertaking a comprehensive analysis of their air quality effects. We identify causal impacts by exploiting the zones’ introduction date with difference-in-differences designs robust to staggered implementations and time-varying treatment effects. Results show air quality improvements through reductions in traffic-related pollutants despite ground-level ozone increases and harmful spatial pollution spillovers. We further find that the zones cause transitory yet long-lasting reductions in individuals’ life satisfaction despite health benefits, suggesting that the subjective well-being effects of restricting mobility potentially outweigh those of improved health.