Airpollution & Covid - Connections Between Air Pollution and Incidence and Effects of COVID-19 in Austria

Project Details

Financing body

WU Projects


This research project aims to assess the relationship between local air pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria. The primary aims are two-fold; to analyze (1) the effect of long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 incidence in Austria, and the populations most vulnerable to this, and (2) the health effects of changes in local air pollution levels driven by pandemic control measures in Austria. Regarding the first, recent research looking at the United States, Italy and the Netherlands have shown that elevated local air pollution levels have a significant impact on the rate and severity of COVID-19 cases. This relationship, however, has not yet been analysed for Austria. Considering this, we will conduct, to the best of our knowledge, the first Austrian-wide empirical analysis econometrically assessing potential associations between ambient air pollution and COVID-19 incidences and outcomes, as part of work package 1 of the project. As recent data has shown significant reductions in the concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere for areas that have undertaken COVID-19 lock-down restrictions, the second work package aims to examine changes in air pollution levels and their effects on life expectancy and health in Austria. By descriptively analysing historical, recent and current fine scale time-series data of ground-level air pollution measurements, we will assess changes in local air pollution in Austria during the COVID-19 lock-down. Further, to examine corresponding health benefits due to potential decreases in air pollution, changes in premature mortality and life years lost of the Austrian population will be quantitatively estimated.
Effective start/end date1/01/2131/12/21

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (OEFOS)

  • 507026 Economic geography
  • 507002 Population geography
  • 105905 Environmental protection
  • 105904 Environmental research
  • 502042 Environmental economics
  • 207107 Air pollution control
  • 303007 Epidemiology