About News Shimshack Paper Published in Science Magazine, Garners National Attention Jul 31, 2020 Shimshack Paper Published in Science Magazine, Garners National Attention PM2.5 air pollution has fallen substantially in the past four decades, yet relative disparities still persist throughout the United States. That is the key finding from a paper published in the July 31 issue of Science magazine, written by Batten School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jay Shimshack. The paper, co-written with UVA Assistant Professor of Economics Jonathan Colmer, Ian Hardman from Stanford University’s Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, and John Voorheis, an economist at the U.S. Census Bureau, has quickly earned national attention. PM2.5 is a form of particulate matter air pollution characterized by fine inhalable particles with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller. This type of air pollution has adverse effects on health, wealth, and productivity. In “Disparities in PM2.5 Air Pollution in the United States,” the authors found that the most polluted areas in 1981 are still the most polluted areas today; conversely, the least polluted areas in 1981 remain the least polluted areas today. Further, areas that were or became whiter and richer between 1981 and 2016 have become relatively less polluted over time. Visit the following pages in Science to access either the full article or the magazine’s “Perspective” piece written on the paper. The paper drew immediate attention from a broad range of national media outlets. Below is a sample of stories written on the paper’s findings: The New York Times, “After Three Decades, Most Polluted U.S. Neighborhoods Haven’t Changed” NPR, “Air Quality Disparities Persist Despite Overall Gains” The Guardian, “Air Pollution Remains Worst in U.S. Communities of Color Despite Progress” Science News, “Many U.S. Neighborhoods with the Worst Air 40 Years Ago Remain the Most Polluted” Gizmodo, “’Stark’ New Study Shows the Most Polluted Places in the U.S. Haven’t Changed in 35 Years” AAAS, “Neighborhood Differences in Air Pollution Persist for Decades” Greenwire,“Study: Racial, economic disparities to soot exposure persist” UPI, “Even as air pollution declines, disparities in exposure remain” Grist, “Money talks (about climate change)” UVA Today, “UVA Economists: Fine Particle Air Pollution Decreases, but Stubborn Disparities Remain” Shimshack and Colmer published a companion piece to the paper Thursday in The Conversation, an online platform that seeks to inform public debate with knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical, and supported by evidence. That paper can be found here. Please continue to visit this page as new articles covering the paper’s finding are added. Jay Shimshack Jay Shimshack is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School. He received a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and a B.S. from Cornell University. Prior to joining UVa, Shimshack held positions at Tulane University and Tufts University and a visiting faculty fellowship at the University of Michigan. His major fields are environmental regulation, environmental economics, corporate social behavior, and applied microeconomics for public policy. Read full bio Related Content Jay Shimshack Disparities in PM2.5 air pollution in the United States Research Particulate air pollution in the contiguous United States has decreased considerably over recent decades, but where exactly has that progress been made? Batten's Jay Shimshack and his co-authors dive in. Costly Sanctions and the Treatment of Frequent Violators in Regulatory Settings Research Regulators typically treat frequent violators more harshly. When does such harsh treatment maximize overall compliance? Shimshack and co-authors find EPA used dubious methodology to justify weakening the Clean Water Act News The Trump administration’s decision to remove federal Clean Water Act protections from millions of acres of wetlands and millions of miles of streams is based on dubious methodology and flawed logic, according to a new report by Batten professor Jay Shimshack and environmental economists from leading research institutions across the U.S. Faculty Spotlight: From College Drop-Out to Action-Minded, Award-Winning Professor News Batten's Paul Martin teaches a course aimed at improving experiences for first-generation students at UVA, while also participating in a wide range of activities for the betterment of the Charlottesville community.