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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Weaker: Prenatal Pollution Exposure and Educational Outcomes

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  • Nicholas J. Sanders

Abstract

I examine the impact of prenatal total suspended particulate (TSP) exposure on educational outcomes using county-level variation in the timing and severity of the industrial recession of the early 1980s as a shock to ambient TSPs (similar to Chay and Greenstone 2003b). I then instrument for pollution levels using county-level changes in relative manufacturing employment. A standard deviation decrease in TSPs in a student’s year of birth is associated with 2 percent of a standard deviation increase in high school test scores for OLS and 6 percent for IV. I also consider how migration and selection into motherhood relate to my results.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/47/3/826
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 826-850

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:iii:1:p:826-850

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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References

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  1. Richard Paap & Frank Kleibergen, 2004. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 195, Econometric Society.
  2. Chay, Kenneth & Dobkin, Carlos & Greenstone, Michael, 2003. " The Clean Air Act of 1970 and Adult Mortality," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 279-300, December.
  3. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Peri, Giovanni, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 4233, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Barreca, Alan I., 2012. "Climate change, humidity, and mortality in the United States," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 19-34.
  5. Janet Currie & Johannes F. Schmieder, 2008. "Fetal Exposure to Toxic Releases and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 14352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Olivier Deschênes & Michael Greenstone, 2007. "Climate Change, Mortality, and Adaptation: Evidence from Annual Fluctuations in Weather in the US," Working Papers 0707, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  7. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Marten Palme, 2007. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," Discussion Papers 0607-19, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  8. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Immigration and housing rents in American cities," Working Papers 03-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Christopher R. Knittel & Douglas L. Miller & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2011. "Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health," Working Papers 1113, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  10. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208, 02.
  11. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Air Quality, Infant Mortality, and the Clean Air Act of 1970," Working Papers 0406, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  12. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/generalized method of moments estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 465-506, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
  15. Janet Currie & W. Reed Walker, 2009. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," NBER Working Papers 15413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Jonathan Guryan, 2009. "Climate Change and Birth Weight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 211-17, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Dan Black & Kermit Daniel & Seth Sanders, 2002. "The Impact of Economic Conditions on Participation in Disability Programs: Evidence from the Coal Boom and Bust," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 27-50, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jans, Jenny & Johansson, Per & Nilsson, Peter, 2014. "Economic Status, Air Quality, and Child Health: Evidence from Inversion Episodes," IZA Discussion Papers 7929, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Christopher R. Knittel & Douglas L. Miller & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2011. "Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 17222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Adam Isen & Maya Rossin-Slater & W. Reed Walker, 2013. "Every Breath You Take, Every Dollar You'll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970," Working Papers 13-52, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 16798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nicholas J. Sanders & Charles F. Stoecker, 2011. "Where Have All the Young Men Gone? Using Gender Ratios to Measure Fetal Death Rates," NBER Working Papers 17434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 689-730, September.
  7. Carnovale, Maria & Gibson, Matthew, 2013. "The Effects of Driving Restrictions on Air Quality and Driver Behavior," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0v8813qm, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  8. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-72, Summer.
  9. Tess Stafford, 2013. "Indoor Air Quality and Academic Performance," Discussion Papers 2013-25, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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