Clean Air and Consumer City
Does Clean Air Increase the Demand for the Consumer City? - Evidence from Beijing
Consumer cities offer a variety of leisure opportunities. However, the gains from such consumer city leisure are likely to be lower on more polluted days.
We study the association between daily consumption activity and outdoor air pollution in China and find evidence in favor of the hypothesis that clean air and leaving one's home for leisure trips are complements.
Yearly mean PM2.5 concentration levels in Beijing, New York and Los Angeles
Demand of the urban consumer city will increase when air pollution is lower.
A 10 percent increase in the PM2.5 concentration will lead to a decrease of consumer activities by:
Patient people engage in intertemporal substitution and delay their leisure trips to days featuring better air quality. This behavioral response will lead to a rebound effect, such as a spike in leisure activities on the first blue sky day after several consecutive polluted days.
One additional "severely polluted" day is associated with:
There is a larger increase in visits for higher‐quality restaurants during blue sky days. In particular, blue sky has a negative or little impact on visits to low‐quality restaurants.
The results show that the visits of Chinese cuisine restaurants are higher under excellent or good air quality, compared with foreign cuisine restaurants.
The impact of blue sky on fast food restaurant reviews is relatively small compared with restaurants serving table meals.
MIT Sustainable Urbanization Lab, Department of Urban Studies and Planning,
Center for Real Estate
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Johns Hopkins University and NBER
Shanghai University of Economics and Finance
Sun, Cong, Siqi Zheng, Jianghao Wang, and Matthew E. Kahn. "Does Clean Air Increase the Demand for the Consumer City? Evidence from Beijing." Journal of Regional Science.
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