Shimshack Paper Published in Science Magazine, Garners National Attention

PM2.5 air pollution has fallen substantially in the past four decades, yet relative disparities still persist throughout the United States.  That is the key finding from a paper published in the July 31 issue of Science magazine, written by Batten School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jay Shimshack.  The paper, co-written with UVA Assistant Professor of Economics Jonathan Colmer, Ian Hardman from Stanford University’s Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, and John Voorheis, an economist at the U.S. Census Bureau, has quickly earned national attention. 

PM2.5 is a form of particulate matter air pollution characterized by fine inhalable particles with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.  This type of air pollution has adverse effects on health, wealth, and productivity.  In “Disparities in PM2.5 Air Pollution in the United States,” the authors found that the most polluted areas in 1981 are still the most polluted areas today; conversely, the least polluted areas in 1981 remain the least polluted areas today.  Further, areas that were or became whiter and richer between 1981 and 2016 have become relatively less polluted over time.

Visit the following pages in Science to access either the full article or the magazine’s Perspective piece written on the paper. 

The paper drew immediate attention from a broad range of national media outlets.  Below is a sample of stories written on the paper’s findings:

Shimshack and Colmer published a companion piece to the paper Thursday in The Conversation, an online platform that seeks to inform public debate with knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical, and supported by evidence.  That paper can be found here

Please continue to visit this page as new articles covering the paper’s finding are added.