The Economic Consequences of Outdoor Air Pollution – OECD

This report provides for the first time a plausible global projection of the magnitude of the economic consequences of outdoorair pollution in absence of policy action other than those already in place. The projections thus reflect the costs of inaction of outdoor air pollution.

The OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: Consequences of Inaction took no account of the feedbacks from environmental challenges and resource scarcity to the economy. This report seeks to address this gap through a detailed economic modelling framework that links outdoor air pollution to economic growth and welfare.

The report focuses on the impacts of outdoor air pollution caused by high concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5) and ground level ozone for the period 2015-2060. The report projects the market costs of outdoor air pollution (focusing on labour productivity, health care expenditures due to illness and changes in crop yields) using a modelling approach, which links economic activity to emissions of air pollutants, concentrations, biophysical impacts and finally feedback effects from these impacts on the economy. The analysis also evaluates non-market health impacts (mortality and morbidity) using results from direct valuation studies.

Download the Policy Highlights (PDF version) / L’essentiel stratégique (version PDF) or learn more about key findings and download the entire report


  • research type

    • Reports
  • Topics

    • Economic Development
    • Environment
    • Health