Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

Mary F. Evans

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© 2019 Benjamin D. Culberson


The health effects of air pollution are well established, ranging from increased rates of cancer to cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, a growing body of literature shows that air pollution has a tangible, negative impact on the labor force. However, in their efforts to avoid the endogeneity of air pollution and labor production, the current literature focuses on specific industries at a local level. The objective of this thesis is to expand this research to a state level by using naturally occurring weather events called air stagnations as a proxy for air pollution. These air stagnations correlate with increased levels of air pollution and because they are naturally occurring, they are exogenous to the labor force. This thesis finds that although there is a negative relationship between the air stagnations, which proxy for air pollution, and the growth of labor force productivity and output, the results are statistically insignificant at conventional levels.