Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine

Prof. Paulina Oliva

Contact Information

Department of Economics
3151 Social Science Plaza
University of California-Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-5100 USA


Dr. Paulina Oliva, Associate Professor of Economics, UC Irvine School of Social Sciences [Ph.D. in Economics, UC Berkeley, 2009]
Prof. Oliva is an expert on Environmental Economics and studies the effects of air pollution on health, particularly among low- and middle-income populations.  Her research shows that high levels of air pollution can be especially lethal to vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries such as Mexico, China, India, and Brazil.  Her current research is taking a closer look at socioeconomic characteristics – education, access to healthcare, initial health status – to determine why these populations are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution, and she aims to address the effectiveness of public policy at improving environmental outcomes and how low-income populations can benefit from these policies.
She also studies costs of air pollution measured in infant mortality and work hours lost.  In addition to finding that effects of air pollution on infant mortality are much higher in developing countries when compared with the U.S., she’s found poor air quality to be the culprit for substantial losses in worker productivity.  This effect is most concentrated among families who have dependents – small children and the elderly – who are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution as sick days are being taken to care for these individuals.

Research Interests: 

Development Economics, Environmental Economics, Labor Economics, Applied Econometrics

Selected Publications: 


Selected Honors and Awards: 
Thormalen Fellow (2009)
Journal of Development Economics Award (2009)
UC-Mexus Doctoral Fellowship (2004-2009)
Dean Normative Time Fellowship (2007)
First Year Department Fellowship, Univ. of California, Berkeley (2004-2005)