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JEL Classification:

I18, Q53, J18, H12

Abstract

A research hypothesis on the nexus between air pollution and adverse COVID-19 outcomes postulates that particulate matter (PM) can be a carrier of the virus. Preliminary evidence through analysis of small PM samples has shown that this is the case but the strength of the transmission channel (impact of it on confirmed cases and deaths) has not been tested. We perform this test on daily atmospheric data at European regional level provided by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and find that air concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 positively affects confirmed cases and deaths, the effect peaking at 6-8 day lags for confirmed cases and 13th lag for deaths. The nexus is robust after controlling for fixed effects and under several robustness and causality checks.

Keywords:

Air pollution, Copernicus, particulate matter, COVID-19