While the effects of pollution on human health have been well established, efforts to understand the full range of impacts have been limited by a paucity of data. This application attempts to fill an important gap in this research by focusing on worker productivity, a succinct summary measure of the impacts of multiple morbidity channels that are typically overlooked in the analyses and design of environmental policy. The primary aim of this application will examine the impacts of environmental conditions on the productivity of agricultural workers. Using a novel longitudinal dataset with detailed information on daily harvest rates of agricultural workers linked to daily ozone and temperature measurements, statistical models that relate temperature and ozone to worker productivity will be estimated. The use of agricultural workers will limit pollution measurement concerns because workers have limited discretion over their exposure, and following workers over time enables opportunities to control for time invariant worker specific characteristics through the use of worker fixed effects. The secondary aim of the application will explore factors that moderate the relationship between environmental conditions and worker productivity, such as worker experience, age, and gender as well as adaptation via prior exposures. By estimating models that interact these factors with environmental conditions, the results from this aim will help to further elucidate some of the channels through which ozone and temperature impact individuals. Given the importance of worker productivity to the economy, even small effects may translate into large losses when aggregated across the economy. As a result, these analyses have important implications for the design of ozone and climate change policy as well as their distributional effects.
The primary goal of environmental regulations is to protect human health, and current regulations require understanding the full range of the health impacts of pollution. By examining the impact of environmental conditions on the productivity of agricultural workers, our project provides a succinct summary measure of the impacts of multiple morbidity channels that are typically overlooked in the analyses and design of environmental policy.