Gray Skies and Blue Moms:The Effect of Air Pollution on Parental Life Satisfaction
We investigate the effects of air pollution on individuals’ life satisfaction, uncovering important heterogeneity in the impact. Using self-reported life satisfaction data from South Korea, we show that individuals report, ceteris paribus, lower life satisfaction in response to worsening air quality if young children are present in the household. This observed impact is driven heavily by the subpopulation of mothers, and the impact on mothers attenuates as their children grow older. We conclude that mothers’ disproportionate responsibility for child rearing and children’s higher vulnerability to air pollution are the likely channels mediating the impact of air pollution on life satisfaction.
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