Post-doc on air pollution and COVID-19

Background and Research question
Fine particles (PM) of air pollution, which penetrate deep into the bronchial tubes, and which for the finest can pass into the bloodstream and reach other organs, could play an important role on the severity of the symptoms of COVID-19 disease. The main contribution of this project is to identify the impact of a high concentration of PM pollution on mortality by COVID-19 and hospitalizations for COVID-19 with co-morbidities. Collaboration between economists, epidemiologists, and atmospheric modeling engineers is strengthened in this project to provide accurate estimates of the benefits of reduced health symptoms associated with environmental risk reduction. The candidate will be attached to the Air-COV project. The Air-COV project focuses on the effects of mobility restrictions (lockdown and other levels of restrictions) in 2020 on air quality and the understanding of the health consequences of these changes.

Main objective
Since early 2020, the SARS-COV-2 virus, also known as coronavirus, has been spreading worldwide. The factors influencing the natural history of COVID-19 and its severity are certainly numerous and remain poorly understood. However, it appears that pre-existing chronic cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are risk factors for the severity of COVID-19. Although exposure to PM pollution may aggravate the disease and increase the risk of death, few causal studies have addressed this issue. Using panel mortality data (weekly and census track) available for France in 2020 and daily spatialized PM concentration data, Air-COV aims to determine whether exposure to fine particle pollution increases the risk of death from COVID-19 and the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19, especially for patients with comorbidities. The objective of the project is to examine the differences in the impact of pollution variations in different municipalities before and after lockdown periods. Specifically, this project will distinguish two groups of municipalities according to their variation in air pollution levels during the mobility restriction periods, with all other factors equal. First, the objective will be to identify a source of heterogeneous air pollution variation between the two groups of municipalities. Via the exogenous distinction of these two groups, the impact of this pollution variation on cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and COVID-19 mortality can be isolated from the socioeconomic factors. The results of this research will be materialized in the form of visualization tools, working papers and scientific articles.

– Management, organization, matching of collected data
– Descriptive and exploratory statistical analyses
– Econometric analysis

– Skills in applied econometrics, identification strategy, causal evaluation
– Expert of R and Stata software
– Fluency in written and spoken English

Required qualities
– Rigor
– Writing skills
– Ability to work in a team in a multi-partner environment
– Good interpersonal skills, good communication skills
– Initiative, ability to listen

Host laboratory: The Centre for Environmental Economics of Montpellier (CEE-M), University of Montpellier.

Degree: PhD in Economics, with strong skills in applied econometrics.

Post-doctoral position of 12 months extendible as soon as possible.

Job location : Montpellier
Nature of the job : Post-doc
Contact person : Lavaine Emmanuelle
Application deadline : 30/06/2022