Institute for Economic and Social Research

Jinan Lecture | Matthew Neidell, Columbia University


About the speaker:

Matthew Neidell is an economics professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University.

His fields of specialization are environmental, health, and labor economics, with research primarily focused at the intersections of these fields. His most recent work applies the latest empirical methods to examine the relationship between the environment and a wide range of measures of well-being, including worker productivity, human capital, and decision making.

Matthew Neidell’s research has been published in leading economics journals, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Human Resources, and Journal of Labor Economics and leading science journals, including Science, and Environmental Science & Technology. He is currently a co-editor at the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, associate editor at the Journal of Human Resourcesand a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.


The advent of low-cost air pollution monitors has led to their rapid adoption in the past few years, with many hailing it as an important tool for improving public information about pollution exposure given limited existing monitor networks. In this paper, we explore several factors related to their adoption in California from 2019-21 and how it affects public information diffusion about air quality. Our results indicate that external shocks to pollution events, such as wildfires, increase the purchase of monitors, and monitor purchases are a normal good. When placed indoors, monitors provide significant private information. The strong spatial clustering of monitor adoption, however, suggests the marginal outdoor monitor provides minimal additional public information, suggesting a coordination failure. Furthermore, monitor adoption is more likely in less polluted areas and where more white households live, suggesting potential exacerbation in information inequality.


Copyright © 2019 Institute for Economic and Social Research ICP record No.: Yue ICP Bei No. 12087612