Abstract: This paper studies health effects from restricting the access of high-emission vehicles to inner cities by implementing Low Emission Zones. For identification, we exploit variation in the timing and the spatial distribution of the introduction of new Low Emission Zones across cities in Germany. We use detailed hospitalization data combined with geo-coded information on the coverage of Low Emission Zones. We find that Low Emission Zones significantly reduce levels of air pollution in urban areas and that these improvements in air quality translate into population health benefits. The number of diagnoses related to air pollution is significantly reduced for hospitals located within or in close proximity to a Low Emission Zone after it becomes effective. The results are mainly driven by reductions in chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
On Monday, November 25 2019, 14:00 - 15:30, Reyn van Ewijk (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) will present:
Are Grandchildren good for you? The Health Effects of becoming a Grandparent
While a burgeoning literature has been focusing on the health effects of two major transitions in the life of the elderly – retirement and death of a spouse – a third major potential life transition, taking on the role of grandparent, has remained largely unexplored. As people are spending a longer time in grandparenthood, the health dynamics of this transition are relevant for policy makers considering child care policies, retirement policies or other policies part of the active ageing framework. Using longitudinal data of 10 Western European countries from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we are, to our knowledge, the first to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the causal relationship of the transition to grandparenthood on the health of the elderly. We find that the transition into grandparenthood leads to worsening subjective well-being. At the same time, however, physical health improves. Both effects are more pronounced among grandmothers. Heterogeneity analyses show that the negative effects on subjective well-being occur among grandparents who are less closely involved with their families and never take care of their grandchildren. These individuals also do not experience positive effects on physical health when becoming a grandparent. The positive effects on physical health occur among grandparents with the opposite profile, whose subjective well-being remains unaffected. Exploring potential channels for these effects, we find that grandparenthood increases the probability that people retire, increases the amount of contact that they have with their children, and does not affect whether they are physically inactive, though it does lead to a reduction in vigorous physical activity.
Room: WST-C.02.12, Weststadttürme Berliner Platz 6-8, Essen
On Monday, November 18 2019, 14:00 - 15:30, Jonathan Briody (University College Dublin) will present:
Parental Unemployment During the Great Recession and Childhood Adiposity
The relationships between unemployment and health are predominantly studied in adults. This study examines the relationship between changing economic conditions during the Irish recession and child weight using the Growing up in Ireland infant cohort from 2008 to 2013. Fixed effect logistic regression, with individual and area fixed effects, is used to examine the effects of parental unemployment on child weight. This study is the first to use longitudinal anthropometric measurements to estimate the impact of parental unemployment on children’s weight before, during and after a recession. Child growth charts are used to quantify children according to overweight for BMI, weight for age, and weight for height measures. For weight measured by BMI, the probability of a child being overweight is 6 percentage points higher if either parent has experienced unemployment. For weight for age the probability is 6 percentage points higher across the World Health Organisation (WHO), British Growth Reference, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts. The analysis is repeated for physical activity and diet to clarify mechanisms of effect. The probability of a child consuming healthy food and physical activity which has an implied cost is lower if either parent experiences unemployment, while the probability of consuming unhealthy food increases. The incidence of adiposity in children in the early years of life has outgrown the prevalence rate in older children and adolescents globally; if these trends are not addressed a generation of children may grow up with a higher level of chronic disease.