Economic Valuation of Ozone-Related School Absences in the South Coast Air Basin of California
Jane V. Hall
Frederick W. Lurmann
Air quality in the South Coast Air Basin of southern California has improved significantly over the past decade, although pollution levels continue to exceed health-based standards on a significant number of days. This study estimates the decline in ozone-related school absences in southern California over the 1990s, reported as differences in the number of days of respiratory illness-related absences, the number of days of all illness-related absences, and the economic loss to families of those absences. The study reports differences in the number of these effects for the intervals 1990-92 to 1997-99, for rolling three-year intervals to 1997-99 across that period, and for expected future reductions in ozone. The baseline population is the cohort aged 5-18 residing in the South Coast Air Basin in 1998. For the interval 1990-92 to 1997-99, the economic value of fewer school absences ranges from $156 million annually to more than $330 million annually, with a best estimate of $245 million. This represents a benefit of nearly $75, on average, for every school-age child in the region. (JEL "I10", "I12", "Q2", "Q25") Copyright 2003 Western Economic Association International.
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