Clearing the Air: Health and Economic Damages of Air Pollution in China

Citation: Ho, Mun S, and Chris P Nielsen, ed. 2007. Clearing the air: The health and economic damages of air pollution in China. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Clearing the air: The health and economic damages of air pollution in China.

Order the book at MIT Press or Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


  • China Review International: "(T)he most comprehensive report on economic costs and human health impacts of air pollution ever undertaken in China." - KAN Haidong, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Fudan University. Click here for the link (may require subscription).
  • The Lancet: "The encouraging -- indeed politically crucial -- observation is that such 'green taxes' would yield a double dividend: reducing environmental and health damage while enhancing economic growth. That last win-win finding should be an offer that a government cannot refuse."  Anthony J. McMichael, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University. Click here for full book review.
  • The China Quarterly: "[Should] appeal to a broad readership. ... The first three chapters ... provide an easily understandable synopsis ... perfect for readers ... or for faculty teaching a broad survey course on China ... This volume is to be commended as a very accessible presentation of an ambitious and thorough research undertaking." - Robert W. Mead, Department of Economics, University of California-Fullerton. Click here for the link.
  • Far Eastern Economic Review: "[I]mpressively integrated" ... "The multidisciplinary framework... allows for a total picture to emerge" ... "At a time when Beijing should be considering not only its local pollution problem, but also its global greenhouse gas emissions, [the book's policy] suggestions are a welcome addition to the debate ..." - Sam Geall. 
  • Asian-Pacific Economic Literature: “In contrast the World Bank report Cost of Pollution in China: economic estimates and physical damages (2007), which caught the attention of the mainstream mass media …, this edited volume by Mun Ho and Chris Nielsen stands as a solemn, solid, and scholarly defence of the same alarming message - air pollution causes significant damage to the Chinese population and economy. ... Reader-friendly ... This book is a methodological breakthrough in the research on the environment-health nexus in China ...”  WU Fengshi, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Click here for the link.
  • The China Journal (July 2008): "[C]omprehensive, timely and policy-relevant ... rigorous ... designed to suit the needs of both non-experts and experts ... potential to become a key reference for scholars and regulators ..." - WANG Xuehong, Crawford School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University
  • Pacific Affairs (Fall 2009): "At last, there is a comprehensive, detailed analysis of air pollution and air pollution damage in China. ... This book is a significant contribution to environmental studies of China ... I would whole-heartedly recommend this text to science, economy and policy professionals studying the environment of China." - Jack Patrick Hayes, School of Social Sciences, Norwich University. Click here for the link.
  • Electronic Green Journal (April 2009): "This book informs public policy debates and contributes to an interdisciplinary discussion of air pollution in China. It is timely and insightful, and should be of interest to scholars, journalists, policy makers, and students concerned about environmental protection and public issues in China today." - Joseph Tse-Hei LEE, Department of History, Pace University. Click here for full book review.
  • Vaclav Smil, University of Manitoba, author of China's Environmental Crisis and other books on energy, food, and environment in China: "There is no such detailed, comprehensive analysis of this topic. ... a commendable effort."
  • Haakon Vennemo, Director, ECON: "Clearing the Air is essential for anyone seriously interested in China's environment. Well researched and well written, the book documents what is known - and not known - about air pollution damage in China.

Book Chapters

Part I: Introduction, Review, and Summary

1. Air Pollution and Health Damages in China: An Introduction and Review, by Chris P. Nielsen and Mun S. Ho

2) Summary for Policy, by Chris P. Nielsen and Mun S. Ho

Part II: Studies of the Assessment

3) Summary for Research, by Chris P. Nielsen and Mun S. Ho

4) Estimating Health Effects of Air Pollution in China: An Introduction to Intake Fraction and the Epidemiology, by Jonathan I. Levy and Susan L. Greco

5) Local Population Exposure to Pollutants from Major Industrial Sectors and Transportation, by Shuxiao Wang, Jiming Hao, Yongqi Lu, and Ji Li

6) Local Population Exposure to Pollutants from the Electric Power Sector, by Bingjiang Liu and Jiming Hao

7) Population Exposure to Power Plant Emissions Using CALPUFF, by Ying Zhou, Jonathan I. Levy, James K. Hammitt, and John S. Evans

8) The Economic Value of Air-Pollution-Related Health Risks in China: A Contingent Valuation Study, by Ying Zhou and James K. Hammitt

9) Sector Allocation of Emissions and Damage, by Mun S. Ho and Dale W. Jorgenson

10) Policies to Control Air Pollution Damages, by Mun S. Ho and Dale W. Jorgenson

Part III: Appendixes

Appendix A: Air Dispersion Simulation and the Power Sector, by Bingjiang Liu

Appendix B: Population Distribution, by Bingjiang Liu and Shuxiao Wang

Appendix C: Major Industrial Sectors in Five Cities, by Shuxiao Wang

Appendix D: Transportation Sector, by Shuxiao Wang

Appendix E: National Intake Fractions, by Mun S. Ho and Shuxiao Wang

Appendix F: Description of the Economic Model, by Mun S. Ho and Dale W. Jorgenson

Appendix G: Supplementary Details for National Sector Damage Estimates, by Mun S. Ho