Subways and Urban Air Pollution with Matthew Turner

Tuesday, February 06, 2018 at 12:30pm to 2:00pm

The MIT-CFC seminar series, debuting this spring semester, is a monthly or bimonthly gathering of scholars from a variety of fields interested in urban China research. We will invite distinguished scholars to share their research and insights on a wide range of topics that could provoke discussions and exchange of ideas that matter for China’s urbanization and sustainable growth.


We investigate the relationship between the opening of a city’s subway network and its air quality. We find that particulate concentrations drop by 4% in a 10km radius disk surrounding a city center following a subway system opening. The effect is larger near the city center and persists over the longest time horizon that we can measure with our data, about eight years. We estimate that a new subway system provides an external mortality benefit of about $594m per year. Although available subway capital cost estimates are crude, the estimated external mortality effects represent a significant fraction of construction costs.


Prof. Turner’s bio:

Matthew Turner is a Professor of Economics at Brown University. He regularly teaches courses in urban and environmental economics, and occasionally, microeconomic theory. He is broadly interested in environmental and urban policy and his recent research focuses on the economics of land use and transportation. Professor Turner holds a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University and is a Co-Editor of the Journal of Urban Economics. His research appears in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies and Econometrica, and is regularly featured in the popular press.

Event Type


Events By Interest

Academic, Sustainability

Events By Audience

Public, MIT Community, Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff

Events By School

School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P)

Department of Urban Studies & Planning
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Alexander Klotz Tuesday, February 06, 2018

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