The Impact of Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution on Educational Outcomes

Title: The Impact of Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution on Educational Outcomes
Authors: Zhang, Yanjiao
Date: 2017
Abstract: In this study, I examine if higher levels of ambient air pollution impact educational outcomes. According to the literature review, CO, O3, PM10 and PM2.5 are found to be four pollutants that could have an impact on cognitive ability, so I focus on these air pollutants. I analyze provincial test results for the province of British Columbia, and Secondary School Literacy Test results from the province of Ontario (OSSLT) with air pollution and weather data corresponding to the locations and dates in which tests took place. A longitudinal approach is used, in which test results are compared within a school over time with a fixed effects model chosen to control for school and year fixed effects. Correlations are found among the four pollutants in the two provinces, therefore, an integrated Air Quality Index (AQI) is calculated to further examine the relationship between air pollution and educational outcomes. In British Columbia, I find that there is a negative impact of ambient air pollution on student’s test results: a one standard deviation increase in AQI leads to a 0.23 percentage points decrease in student average grade. Furthermore, I find that in BC, air pollution’s impact on students with special needs experience about 3.4 times of the average impact of other students. In Ontario, I do not find significant association between OSSLT results and the AQI, and this might be because of not having enough observations in Ontario school dataset and lots of missing data in air pollution dataset. However, the association between ambient air pollution and OSSLT results is found to be negative overall, congruent with results from BC.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
Institut de l’environnement - Publications // Institute of the Environment - Publications