OP-EDS AND COMMENTARY
AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD SIZE AND THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MALARIA
This is a project I did with Finnish biologists Lena and Larry Hulden looking at explanatory factors for the pattern of malaria eradication around the world. We have found that declining average household size plays a big role, as does income. What doesn't play a role? Average temperature, among other things. We can't find any indication that a change in a country's climate will make malaria worse - in fact if anything, warmer temperatures are associated with less malaria, once the effects of income and household size are controlled for. The paper has just appeared in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society.
A detailed but non-technical discussion is here.
The data/code archive is here (note the readme file).
AIR POLLUTION, ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND RESPIRATORY ILLNESS: EVIDENCE FROM CANADIAN CITIES 1974-1994
This is a study I coauthored with Gary Koop and Lise Tole of Strathclyde University in Scotland. Many studies have reported a relationship between urban air pollution levels and respiratory health problems. However, there are notable variations in results, depending on modeling approach, covariate selection, period of analysis, etc. To help clarify these factors we compare and apply two estimation approaches: model selection and Bayesian model averaging, to a new data base on 11 Canadian cities spanning 1974 to 1994. During this interval pollution levels were typically much higher than the present. Our data allow us to compare monthly hospital admission rates for all lung diagnostic categories to ambient levels of five common air contaminants, while controlling for income, smoking and meteorological covariates. In the most general specifications we find the here-observed health effects of air pollution are very small and insignificant, with signs that are typically opposite to conventional expectations. Smoking effects are robust across specifications. Considering the fact that we are examining an interval of comparatively high air pollution levels, and the contrast between our results and those that have been published previously, we conclude that extra caution should be applied to results estimated on short and/or recent data panels, and to those that do not control for model uncertainty and socioeconomic covariates.
A free pre-print is here. The data and code archive is here. Note that the software to do the BMA is not included in this archive.
OP-EDS ON THE AIR POLLUTION/HEALTH TOPIC
COMMENTARY / PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS
Also see also my Ontario Energy Policy page which covers many related topics.