Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Economics


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Arman Khachiyan


National Capital Region of India (NCR) experiences adverse air quality during winters with Air Quality Index (AQI) at hazardous levels. Though various factors like industrial and automobile emissions, biomass burning, and firecrackers during festive season contribute to NCR’s adverse air quality, farm stubble burning in neighbouring agricultural regions of Punjab and Haryana is considered a prominent one. The motivation and consequences of farm-stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana have been extensively studied but the causal effect of this burning on air quality of Delhi has neither been rigorously analyzed nor the effects quantified. This study aims to bridge this gap by establishing causality between the two phenomenon using econometric methods and estimating the quantum of effect.

The study uses farm burning data and air quality data collected from satellite data using Google Earth Engine, and uses similarly collected vegetation cover data as an instrument for the IV identification strategy to establish causality. The results indicate that 1 standard deviation (approximately 332 thousand hectares) increase in farm-stubble results in an increase in Aerosol Optical Depth over NCR by 0.3 in the subsequent month and by 0.2 in the second month. Both results are significant at a confidence level of 99 percent.