Smoking and overweight are well-known factors that shorten life expectancy. While these factors are seemingly controllable by the individual, risks from fine particulate matter pollution are less so. In this paper, these risks are studied with novel micro data at the county level for Germany and for the years 1999 to 2017. A matching approach is used to control for relevant differences between the counties. Unexpectedly, fine particulate matter pollution is not found to have a direct effect on life expectancy, when controlling for relevant covariates with the matching estimation model. In contrast, it had just such a negative effect in the robustness check and extensions with an OLS model. These additional OLS estimations provide evidence of a moderating effect of particulate matter pollution on the effects of smoking and overweight with respect to life expectancy.
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