Goal: The relationship between air pollution and human health has been widely studied in medicine and economics. However, only a few recent articles have estimated the direct impact of air pollution on academic achievement. Methodology: We collect daily air pollution data from all monitoring stations in the city of Santiago, Chile, and combine it with academic results recorded by the National Learning Outcome Assessment System of (SIMCE in Spanish) for fourth grade students over the past decade, to create a unique pooled cross-sectional dataset. Results: Applying different econometric strategies, we find that certain air pollutants have a negative impact on the test scores of the cohort. Our estimated effects are negative and statistically significant, ranging between 0.02 and 0.06 standard deviations. Conclusions: These results seem to be small, but are equivalent to around 30% of a successful educational policy that specifically targets performance. Recommendations: Public policy must consider the positive externalities of reducing air pollution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics and Econometrics
- Political Science and International Relations