Spatial Effects of Air Pollution on Public Health in China

  • Yin FengEmail author
  • Jinhua Cheng
  • Jun Shen
  • Han Sun


Increasingly serious air pollution poses a great threat to public health and daily life. Based on the Grossman China health production function, this paper examines the effects of the spatial agglomeration of Chinese public health and the spatial effects of air pollution and other factors on public health considering three aspects. This study employed Chinese macro data on public health and air pollution from 2004 to 2013 to conduct an empirical analysis using a spatial econometrics technique. The main conclusions are as follows. Due to extensive and persistent air pollution, there was a significant spatial agglomeration impact on public health, regional public health presented a convergence effect, and effects of air pollution’s negative externalities on public health were significant. Compared with the estimation results obtained when spatial dependence was not considered, the negative effect of the concentration of PM2.5 on public health was higher, implying that the traditional approaches tend to create biases when spatial correlation is ignored; from a regional perspective, the regional differences in the effects of air pollution on public health were significant. Adopting differentiated environmental policies for different regions is the future direction towards which China’s environmental governance will develop.


Public health Air pollution Health production function Spatial econometrics 



This study was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grants 11&ZD040, 17BJY063). Our deepest gratitude goes to the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their careful work and thoughtful suggestions that have helped improve this paper substantially.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementChina University of Geosciences (Wuhan)WuhanChina
  2. 2.Hubei Academy of Environmental SciencesWuhanChina
  3. 3.Resources Environmental Economic Research Center of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)WuhanChina

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