Health Implications of Electricity Consumption in China: An Empirical Analysis

Niu, Catherine [Browse]
Senior thesis


Brunnermeier, Smita B. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Economics [Browse]
Princeton University. Program in Applications of Computing [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
China’s rapid industrialization over the past half-century has had large ripple effects onthe nation’s disease burden and energy burden. Understanding these consequences is ofcritical concern for future energy and development policies at the subnational, national,and international scale. This thesis provides an empirical analysis of the healthimplications of provincial electricity consumption in China from 1990 to 2013, todetermine the effects of electricity consumption on the likelihood of air-pollution-relateddeaths. Using the Global Burden of Disease 2013 dataset on Chinese subnationalmortality-by-cause, I estimate the causal effect of electricity consumption on air-pollution-related mortality outcomes at the province and year level. My results show thatwhile electricity consumption and air-pollution-related mortality rates are positivelycorrelated overall, this relationship breaks down in several significant ways. All elseequal, electricity consumption lowers the likelihood of deaths caused by communicable(infectious) diseases and respiratory infections, while it increases the likelihood of deathscaused by cardiovascular diseases and cancer. These findings suggest that electricityconsumption has different impacts on acute and chronic exposure to air pollution.

Supplementary Information