Projects Funded for Michelle Marcus


The Impacts of Maritime Emissions Standards

Jamie Hansen-Lewis and Michelle Marcus


This research is ongoing. It quantifies the effectiveness and distributional equity of US maritime fuel emissions standards on air quality, racial exposure disparities, human health, and behavior. Defining where and to what extent the ECA policy affected air pollution for the on-land population is a first-order challenge. We quantify exposure to the policy based on the predictions of an atmospheric aerosol transport model. We leverage variation in (i) the timing of the regulation and (ii) the intensity of the regulation across locations, using a differences-in-differences design to measure the effects of the ECA. In preliminary results, we find the introduction of US maritime emissions control areas significantly decreased fine particulate matter, low birth weight, and infant mortality. Yet, only about half of the forecasted fine particulate matter abatement was achieved by the policy. Since maritime emissions occur off-shore, these abatement benefits were distributed more evenly across socioeconomic groups than those of land-based sources like ports. We show evidence consistent with behavioral responses among ship operators, other polluters, and individuals that muted the policy's impact, but were not incorporated in ex-ante models.