Higher Levels of Air Pollution Linked to Lower Scores on Exams

According to a new study that appeared in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, higher air pollution levels may impact the students’ cognitive performance.Higher Levels of Air Pollution Linked to Lower Scores on Exams

For their study, the researchers created individual-level panel data for the two days of exams across three years and applied student fixed effects to address potential endogeneity concerns. When they examined the received data, they saw that an increase of 10 mcg/m3 of particulate matter on the day of the examination decreases students’ scores by 6.1 points (8% SD).

The authors write: “Even when including a more flexible measure of our treatment that is utilizing a dummy variable to account for the days in which PM10 exceeded the WHO’s acceptable threshold, our findings still point to negative effects of air pollution on cognitive performance during examinations.”

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