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Author

Michael Gilraine

Bio: Michael Gilraine is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Air pollution & Pollution. The author has an hindex of 2, co-authored 8 publications receiving 16 citations.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article , the authors leverage a unique setting arising from the largest gas leak in U.S. history, whereby the offending gas company installed air filters in every classroom within five miles of the leak (but not beyond).
Abstract: This paper identifies the achievement impact of installing air filters in classrooms for the first time. I leverage a unique setting arising from the largest gas leak in U.S. history, whereby the offending gas company installed air filters in every classroom within five miles of the leak (but not beyond). Using a spatial regression discontinuity design, I find substantial improvements in student performance: air filters raised mathematics and English scores by 0.20σ. Natural gas was not detected inside schools, indicating that the filters improved air quality by removing common pollutants. On that basis, these results should apply more widely.

10 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors found that every one million megawatt hours of coal-fired power production decreases mathematics scores in schools within ten kilometers by 0.02σ, while gas-fired plants exhibit no such relationship.

4 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper , the relationship between air pollution and test scores was investigated in over 10,000 U.S. school districts and they found that declines in particulate pollution exposure raised test scores and reduced the black-white test score gap by 0.06 and 0.01 standard deviations, respectively.
Abstract: We combine satellite-based pollution data and test scores from over 10,000 U.S. school districts to estimate the relationship between air pollution and test scores. To deal with potential endogeneity we instrument for air quality using (i) year-to-year coal production variation and (ii) a shift-share instrument that interacts fuel shares used for nearby power production with national growth rates. We find that each one-unit increase in particulate pollution reduces test scores by 0.02 standard deviations. Our findings indicate that declines in particulate pollution exposure raised test scores and reduced the black-white test score gap by 0.06 and 0.01 standard deviations, respectively.

2 citations

TL;DR: In this paper , the authors examined the impact of pay-for-performance schemes on student test scores and found that teachers who are responsive to incentives, preferring to work in high-stakes environments, gradually sort into program schools over time.
Abstract: Teachers play a vital role in the education system, leading many school districts to implement payment-based incentive schemes to improve teacher quality. Despite their promise, these incentive schemes often do not generate the sought-after performance improvements. This paper sheds new light on the impact of pay-for-performance schemes by examining both the initiation and termination of such a program, finding a stark asymmetry between these effects. Student test scores do not change following the introduction of the program but decrease sharply (by 0.09 standard deviations) following its termination, despite the program being essentially unchanged during its ten-year tenure. The majority of the decline in test scores is explained by within-teacher changes in performance rather than changes to teacher composition. We argue that these differential effects arise because teachers who are responsive to incentives, preferring to work in high-stakes environments, gradually sort into program schools over time.

Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review summarizes current knowledge and knowledge gaps in the health effects of wildfire smoke in children, as well as tools for public health response aimed at children, including consideration of low-cost sensor data, respirators, and exposures in school environments.
Abstract: Wildfire smoke is an increasing environmental health threat to which children are particularly vulnerable, for both physiologic and behavioral reasons. To address the need for improved public health messaging this review summarizes current knowledge and knowledge gaps in the health effects of wildfire smoke in children, as well as tools for public health response aimed at children, including consideration of low-cost sensor data, respirators, and exposures in school environments. There is an established literature of health effects in children from components of ambient air pollution, which are also present in wildfire smoke, and an emerging literature on the effects of wildfire smoke, particularly for respiratory outcomes. Low-cost particulate sensors demonstrate the spatial variability of pollution, including wildfire smoke, where children live and play. Surgical masks and respirators can provide limited protection for children during wildfire events, with expected decreases of roughly 20% and 80% for surgical masks and N95 respirators, respectively. Schools should improve filtration to reduce exposure of our nation's children to smoke during wildfire events. The evidence base described may help clinical and public health authorities provide accurate information to families to improve their decision making.

77 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Wang et al. as mentioned in this paper found that pollution exposure raises mortality risk, lowers the day-to-day sentiment of the population and lowers outdoor worker productivity, and that local air pollution also lowers the productivity of high skilled government officials.
Abstract: China's urbanites continue to be exposed to high levels of air pollution. Such pollution exposure raises mortality risk, lowers the day to day sentiment of the population and lowers outdoor worker productivity. Using a unique set of data for Chinese judges, we document that local air pollution also lowers the productivity of high skilled government officials who work indoors. Our new evidence on the effects of air pollution highlights both the challenge that pollution poses for quality of life and workforce productivity and indicates that the Chinese urban elites gain co-benefits when their cities burn less fossil fuel.

38 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors investigated the relationship between wildfire smoke exposure and learning outcomes across the United States using standardized test scores from 2009-2016 for nearly 11,700 school districts and satellite-derived estimates of daily smoke exposure.
Abstract: Wildfires have increased in frequency and severity over the past two decades, threatening to undo substantial air quality improvements. We investigate the relationship between wildfire smoke exposure and learning outcomes across the United States using standardized test scores from 2009–2016 for nearly 11,700 school districts and satellite-derived estimates of daily smoke exposure. Relative to a school year with no smoke, average cumulative smoke-attributable PM2.5 (surface particulate matter <2.5 μg m−3) exposure during the school year (~35 μg m−3) reduces test scores by ~0.15% of a standard deviation. These impacts are more pronounced among younger students and are observed across differing levels of economic disadvantage and racial/ethnic composition. Additionally, we project that smoke PM2.5 exposure in 2016 reduced discounted future earnings by nearly $1.7 billion ($111 per student). Roughly 80% of these costs are borne by disadvantaged districts. Our findings quantify a previously unaccounted for social cost of wildfire that is likely to worsen under a warming climate. Wildfire increases are worsening air quality in many regions, undoing gains in pollution control. This study finds that across the United States, exposure to fine particulates in wildfire smoke worsened test scores, especially among younger students, and that most costs are borne by disadvantaged districts.

11 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: This article found that exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5) impairs adult cognitive function, and that these effects are largest for those in prime working age, suggesting that air pollution increases inequality in productivity.
Abstract: We exploit novel data from brain-training games to examine the impacts of air pollution on a comprehensive set of cognitive skills in adults. We find that exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5) impairs adult cognitive function, and that these effects are largest for those in prime working age. These results confirm a hypothesized mechanism for the impacts of air pollution on workforce productivity. We also find that the cognitive effects are largest for new tasks and for those with low ability, suggesting that air pollution increases inequality in productivity.

11 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors used an expert assessment to bridge the policy divides in the State of Utah, USA, combining quantitative estimates from 23 local researchers and specialists on the human health and economic costs of air pollution.
Abstract: Air pollution causes more damage to health and economy than previously understood, contributing to approximately one in six deaths globally. However, pollution reduction policies remain controversial even when proven effective and cost negative, partially because of misunderstanding and growing mistrust in science. We used an expert assessment to bridge these research–policy divides in the State of Utah, USA, combining quantitative estimates from 23 local researchers and specialists on the human health and economic costs of air pollution. Experts estimated that air pollution in Utah causes 2480 to 8000 premature deaths annually (90% confidence interval) and decreases the median life expectancy by 1.1 to 3.6 years. Economic costs of air pollution in Utah totaled $0.75 to $3.3 billion annually, up to 1.7% of the state’s gross domestic product. Though these results were generally in line with available estimates from downscaled national studies, they were met with surprise in the state legislature, where there had been an almost complete absence of quantitative health and economic cost estimates. We discuss the legislative and personal responses of Utah policy makers to these results and present a framework for increasing the assimilation of data into decision making via regional expert assessment. In conclusion, combining quantitative assessments from local experts is a responsive and cost-effective tool to increase trust and information uptake during time-sensitive policy windows.

10 citations