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Pollution exposure and child health: Evidence for infants and toddlers in Germany

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  • Coneus, Katja
  • Spiess, C. Katharina
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the impact of outdoor pollution and parental smoking on children's health from birth until the age of three years in Germany. We use representative data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), combined with five air pollution levels. These data were provided by the Federal Environment Agency and cover the years 2002–2007. Our work makes two important contributions. First, we use European data to replicate and extend an important US study by following the effects of pollution exposure and parental smoking on child health during the first four years of life. Second, we have health measures not only for infants but for toddlers as well. For infants, as well as for two- to three-year-olds, we are able to account for time-invariant and unobserved neighborhood and maternal characteristics. Our results suggest a significantly negative impact of some pollutants on infant health. High exposure to CO prior to birth causes, on average, a 289g lower birth weight. With respect to toddler health, we find that disorders and in particular those as bronchitis and respiratory illnesses are affected particularly by O3 levels.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 180-196

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:180-196

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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    Keywords: Pollution exposure; Child health; Early childhood;

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    References

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    1. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2009. "Air pollution and infant health: Lessons from New Jersey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 688-703, May.
    2. Janet Currie, 2008. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," NBER Working Papers 13987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact Of Air Pollution On Infant Mortality: Evidence From Geographic Variation In Pollution Shocks Induced By A Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167, August.
    4. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
    5. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew, 2004. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn From California's Recent Experience?," IZA Discussion Papers 1056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2011. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 65-90, January.
    8. Virmantas Kvedaras & Alfredas Račkauskas, 2010. "Regression Models with Variables of Different Frequencies: The Case of a Fixed Frequency Ratio," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(5), pages 600-620, October.
    9. John Cawley & C. Katharina Spiess, 2008. "Obesity and Skill Attainment in Early Childhood," NBER Working Papers 13997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Phil Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie Roos, 2006. "Short, Medium, and Long Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis using Siblings and Twins," NBER Working Papers 11998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    12. Neidell, Matthew J., 2004. "Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1209-1236, November.
    13. Enrico Moretti & Matthew Neidell, 2011. "Pollution, Health, and Avoidance Behavior: Evidence from the Ports of Los Angeles," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 154-175.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ainhoa Aparicio & Libertad González, 2014. "Newborn Health and the Business Cycle: Is it Good to be Born in Bad Times?," Working Papers 702, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Eibich, Peter & Ziebarth, Nicolas, 2013. "Examining the Structure of Spatial Health Effects using Hierarchical Bayes Models," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79844, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Boes, Stefan & Nüesch, Stephan & Stillman, Steven, 2012. "Aircraft Noise, Health, and Residential Sorting: Evidence from Two Quasi-Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 6744, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Ziebarth, N. R.; & Schmitt, M.; & Karlsson, M.;, 2013. "The short-term population health effects of weather and pollution: implications of climate change," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/34, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. Janet Currie & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Katherine Meckel & Matthew J. Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2013. "Something in the Water: Contaminated Drinking Water and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 18876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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