Linking Environmental Management to Health Outcomes: A Case Study of the Emerald Ash Borer

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Research has linked the environment to improved health outcomes; however, environmental policy continues to ignore this connection. This is particularly important with invasive species, such as the emerald ash borer (EAB), that are destroying ash trees throughout North America. This oversight has potential impacts in terms of increased mortality rates due to a loss of ash trees. To address this issue, we use a health production function to map heterogeneous environmental amenities to changes in health. We find that inclusive of health impacts, management of the EAB is qualitatively different than current practices and varies according to spatial distributions of wealth. This model has policy implications for the optimal management of environmental amenities where a link between nature and health exists.

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Applied Economics Letters

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