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LabFam seminar series: Air Pollution and Job Search

Date: 22.06.2021, 13:00
speaker: Steffen Künn, Maastricht University

speaker: Steffen Künn, Maastricht University

Air pollution is shown to have detrimental effects on health, productivity and cognition, which are important factors contributing to job search success. We are the first to study the impact of air pollution on job search success and behaviour. In a first step, we use administrative data on unemployed job seekers in Germany and exploit spatial and temporal variation in exposure to particulate matter (PM10). We find evidence that higher levels of PM10 increase individuals’ probability to exit unemployment but reduces their realized wages. In a second step, we consider detailed survey data to shed light on the exact mechanism behind this observation. We find that exposure to PM10 pollution triggers a reduction in individuals’ reservation wages, making job seekers apparently more likely to accept (low quality) job offers faster.

Assistant Professor at the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University and a research fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) as well as the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA). His main research interests include applied labor economics and in particular I focus on two topics:  effectiveness of active labor market policy and the effects of environmental conditions (indoor conditions) on human health, cognition and labor market outcomes.

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