Econometrics

Luis Sarmiento

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Abstract

I assert that nitrogen oxides affect the cognitive productivity of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors participating in Mexican court hearings. This is the first article to document an effect of nitrogen oxides on labor productivity and the first to study the effect of pollution on judicial workers. I analyze the connection between both variables by merging hourly pollution measures with individual-level hearing data under the assumption that the length of the hearing approximates the productivity of involved participants. Causality comes from the use of panel and instrumental variable techniques alongside a substantial set of robustness and placebo tests. In the preferred specification, one standard deviation increase of nitrogen oxides increases the length of judiciary hearings by 3.68%.

Luis Sarmiento

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Abstract

This article looks at the effect of six different criteria pollutants and their associated pollution index on the discharge times of respiratory emergency room visits in Mexico City. The analysis is the first to look at the impact of criteria pollutants on the length it takes for patients with respiratory conditions to be cleared out from emergency room status. I infer causality with the use of spatial and temporal panel techniques that control for a broad set of relevant variables and use fixed effects to control for unobservable time consistent and seasonal covariates. In the preferred multipollutant specification, one standard deviation increase in the pollution index, carbon monoxide, fine particle matter, and ozone, leads to increments of 28.1, 22.3, 17.7, and 25.9, percent in the discharge time of respiratory emergency room cases in the city. These results show that environmental policies to reduce pollution can decrease treatment times at emergency rooms, reducing opportunity costs on patients and allowing for a reallocation of resources from pollution triggered to pollution unrelated conditions.

Luis Sarmiento and Nicole Waegner

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Abstract

Recent literature has causally linked environmental pollution to poor health outcomes that result in adverse labor market impacts. We assess the impact of pollution externalities from hydraulic fracturing on surrounding households’ labor market outcomes by analyzing health-related employee absenteeism: If fracking leads to significant negative environmental externalities, then individuals living in close proximity to fracking sites will have poorer health outcomes and a higher number of sick leave days than comparable individuals. We combine 2000 to 2014 individual- and household-level data from the PSID with oil and gas well data from Pennsylvania. We infer causality through the use of a differences-in-differences design that exploits intertemporal and geographical variation in construction dates and locations of fracking wells. Furthermore, propensity-score matching ensures comparability between treatment and control groups. Preliminary results provide the first evidence of a significant adverse labor market effect of fracking, indicating that exposure to a well increases absenteeism by three days.


  • Submission Status: Working paper still not submitted to any journal.

Conferences

  • EAERE 2019; Manchester, U.K..
  • Mannheim Energy Conference 2019; Mannheim, Ger.

Luis Sarmiento, Aleksandar Zaklan, and Julia Rechliz

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Abstract

We posit that pollution affects welfare outcomes directly, through a person’s health, and indirectly, through the health of her children. This paper is the first to consider the indirect channel to welfare losses from pollution. We analyze the effect of ozone on subjective health and life satisfaction using a panel of German individuals matched with highly granular pollution data. We find that individuals with children in their households suffer losses in life satisfaction due to ozone, while those without children do not. Ozone does not affect the health satisfaction of either group. We provide evidence on the mechanism of the life satisfaction effect by showing that ozone leads to losses in workdays to care for a sick child.


  • Submission Status: Submitted.

Conferences

  • 2018 Essen-Duisburg conference on health economics; Essen, Ger
  • 2018 LACEA-LAMES conference; Guayaquil, Ecu.
  • 2019 EARE; Manchester, U.K.

Luis Sarmiento

Expected working paper by October 2019


Abstract

I posit that the hourly variation of air pollution affects the probability of crime. To understand the connection between hourly changes in pollution and crime, I use administrative crime records from Los Angeles and New York police departments alongside monitoring stations data from the environmental protection agency. I infer causality through the use of ordinary least squares, Poisson, and probit fixed-effect models controlling for the census tract where the crime occurs, the hour, the month, and the year of the crime plus additional control covariates at the crime, tract, and city levels. Preliminary results point towards a large effect of ozone, fine particle matter, and carbon monoxide on criminality..


  • Submission Status: Working paper expected by October 2019.

Conferences

Luis Sarmiento and Julio Fournier

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Abstract

This article quantifies the consequences of the 2013 floods on heavy vehicle’s traffic in Germany by using automatic traffic counter (ATC) data to locate affected roads and measure the stringency of the damage. The research design treats each counter as an independent time series and endogenously identifies shocks to determine the effects and dates on which the flood-affected each counter. Results show a cumulative negative effect on average weekly freight traffic volumes. Although the largest number of shocks happened along the highway (Bundesstraßen) network with an overall positive effect, motorways (Autobahns) experienced larger shocks with an overall negative effect. The most affected regions were the states of Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt, with Rosenheim (Bavaria) being the district with the largest traffic losses and Rottal-Inn (Bavaria) the one with the largest gains. Understanding the effect of repetitive meteorological events on the road network is relevant for the formulation of policies aiming to improve resilience and recovery.

Submission Status: Submitted toTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment; Under revision

Luis Sarmiento, Aleksandar Zaklan, and Alexander Zerrahn

Working paper expected in summer 2020

Abstract

This paper evaluates the external effects of high-voltage electricity transmission infrastructure on individuals’ well-being using the life-satisfaction approach. We construct a novel dataset by mapping geo-coded information on almost all German high-voltage pylons to representative household data on subjective well-being from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). In a difference-in-differences design, we identify the causal effect of proximity to pylons on subjective well-being by exploiting spatial and temporal variation in the construction of pylons. We find that living closer than 1,500 meters to high-voltage power lines statistically significantly decreases individuals’ well-being.