Timo Heer will be discussing his paper: Noise Pollution and Violence


Exposure to noise pollution carries some health risks that also come with air pollution. However, noise also affects the brain regions responsible for self-control and patience, and may therefore have a direct, contemporaneous effect on behavior. Exploiting short-run variation in aircraft landing approaches, I identify the effect of noise on violence. A 1-dB rise in noise levels increases the assault rate by 2.6%. The victims are predominantly male adults attacked by strangers. Reducing noise levels by 1 dB would spare 18,000 assault victims in the US and Europe annually, suggesting that noise pollution is a major externality of economic activity.


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