Beyond the Haze: An Economist’s Insight Into Air Pollution

Photo of Dylan Brewer, Assistant Professor in the School of Economics, Georgia Tech

Dylan Brewer, Assistant Professor in the School of Economics, Georgia Tech

Are you under the impression that air pollution is a dichotomous problem where the air is either polluted or it’s not? What else is there to know about air pollution? The surprising answer to this question lies not with a lab scientist but with an economist.

Assistant Professor Dylan Brewer of the School of Economics studies the health impacts of air pollution and the statistical methods useful for teasing apart factors that can confound those answers, all from the lens of an economist. It turns out that viewing the problem of air pollution through an economic framework and applying statistical methods commonly used in the field of economics can shed light on the multiple factors that influence the health impact of exposure to air pollution on different populations.

Recently, Brewer was the featured guest on the podcast The Health Deli, where the hosts were surprised to find an economist making waves at this critical research intersection. Brewer explains why viewing this problem from the perspective of an economist is so valuable and discusses some of his research team’s surprising findings.

The podcast, hosted by three pharmacists, approaches health news from a scientific bent, which turned out to be a great fit for an economist who studies air pollution. You can listen to the podcast episode, “Is It Safe To Breathe Air? How Is This a Real Question?’ on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, as well as other major podcast providers.

Spotify Link

Written by: Sharon Murphy, Research Associate, SEI


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Priya Devarajan, SEI Communications Program Manager