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CEE-M Seminar

CEE-M Seminar

Air Pollution and Sick Leaves: Evidence from Social Security Data


Ulrich Wagner
Manheimm University, Professor of Quantitative Economics
co-editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists




We estimate the causal impact of air pollution on the incidence of sick leaves in a representative panel of  employees affiliated to the Spanish social security system. Using more than 100 million worker-by-week observations from the period 2005-2014, we estimate the relationship between the share of days an individual is on sick leave in a given week and exposure to particulate matter (PM10) at the place of residence, controlling for weather, individual effects, and a wide range of time-by-location controls. Identification derives from weekly variation in air pollution concentrations within municipalities. We find that particulate matter increases sick leaves in a statistically and economically significant fashion. We also explore the heterogeneity of this effect with respect to various worker and job characteristics.

Co-author : Felix Holub (Universität of Mannheim) and Laura Hospido (Banco de España)

Practical information


MSH Sud, Site Saint-Charles
Rue du Professeur Henri Serre 34080 Montpellier

Dates & time

May 22, 2019


Raphaël Soubeyran
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