Does stringency of lockdown affect air quality? Evidence from Indian cities

from Health Economics at https://bit.ly/3lw0Kfb on August 31, 2020 at 10:47AM


The precipitous spread of COVID-19 has created a conflict between human health and economic well-being. To contain the spread of its contagious effect, India imposed the stringent lockdown, and then the stringency was relaxed to some extent in its succeeding phases. We measure social benefits of the lockdown in terms of improved air quality in Indian cities by quantifying the effects with city-specific slope coefficients. We find that the containment measures have resulted in improvement in air quality, but it is not uniform across cities and across pollutants. The level of PM2.5 decreases from about 6 to 25 percent in many cities. Moreover, we observe that partial relaxations do not help in resuming economic and social activities. It should also be noted that counter-virus measures could not bring levels of the emissions to WHO standards; it highlights the importance of role of green production and consumption activities.