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The Consequences of Industrialization: Evidence from Water Pollution and Digestive Cancers in China

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Author Info

  • Avraham Ebenstein

    (University of Jerusalem)

Abstract

China's rapid industrialization has led to a severe deterioration in water quality in the country's lakes and rivers. By exploiting variation in pollution across China's river basins, I estimate that a deterioration of water quality by a single grade (on a six-grade scale) increases the digestive cancer death rate by 9.7%. The analysis rules out other potential explanations such as smoking rates, dietary patterns, and air pollution. I estimate that doubling China's levy rates for wastewater dumping would save roughly 17,000 lives per year but require an additional [dollar]500 million in annual spending on wastewater treatment. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00150
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 186-201

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:1:p:186-201

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Cited by:
  1. Matthew E. Kahn & Pei Li & Daxuan Zhao, 2013. "Pollution Control Effort at China’s River Borders: When Does Free Riding Cease?," NBER Working Papers 19620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 18935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Understanding China's Urban Pollution Dynamics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 731-72, September.
  4. Brainerd, Elizabeth & Menon, Nidhiya, 2012. "Seasonal Effects of Water Quality on Infant and Child Health in India," IZA Discussion Papers 6559, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Brainerd, Elizabeth & Menon, Nidhiya, 2014. "Seasonal effects of water quality: The hidden costs of the Green Revolution to infant and child health in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 49-64.
  6. Jiang, Liangliang & Lin, Chen & Lin, Ping, 2014. "The determinants of pollution levels: Firm-level evidence from Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 118-142.
  7. Avraham Ebenstein & Jian Zhang & Margaret S. McMillan & Kevin Chen, 2011. "Chemical Fertilizer and Migration in China," NBER Working Papers 17245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Siqi Zheng & Cong Sun & Ye Qi & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "The Evolving Geography of China’s Industrial Production: Implications for Pollution Dynamics and Urban Quality of Life," NBER Working Papers 19624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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