Ke YangFollow

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Jesse Anttila-Hughes


Abstract: Cognitive performance is important to productivity across many fields and potentially correlated to air pollution and extreme temperatures. We study the effects of daily ambient air pollution and monthly temperature on women’s ability of recalling dates across 42 developing countries from 1997 to 2009. We use an estimated natural air pollution data, and calculate the AQI to get an aggregate effect of air pollution. We find that one standard deviation increase in the AQI leads to a statistical decrease in women’s probability to recall dates such as birthdays, marriage date or children’s birthdays by 0.44 percentage point. Furthermore, there is a nonlinear effect of air pollution with a suggesting AQI threshold 150. We also find each degree day above 30°C increase the probability of women fail to recall children’s birthdays by 0.17 percentage point. Moreover, by doing a sub-sample estimation, we find that air pollution and temperature particularly affect uneducated women.