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Pollution Exposure and Infant Health: Evidence from Germany

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  • Katja Coneus
  • C. Katharina Spieß
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the impact of outdoor and indoor pollution 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 come from the Federal Environment Agency and cover the years 2002-2007. Our work offers three important contributions. Firstly, we use accurate measures for five different pollutants (CO, NO2, SO2, O3, and PM10) on a (half-)hourly basis. Secondly, we are able to follow the effect of pollution exposure on a child's health during the first three years of life, accounting for time-invariant and unobserved neighborhood and mother-specific characteristics. Thirdly, we calculate different pollution intensity measures. Instead of relying solely on mean pollution levels, we are able to use (half-)hourly pollution levels as well as indoor pollution as measurements for the total latent pollution exposure. Our results suggest a significantly negative impact for some pollutants on infant health during early childhood. In comparison to outdoor pollution, indoor pollution seems to be more harmful directly after birth, while the relationship between indoor and outdoor pollution changes later in childhood. Since smoking is one source of producing carbon monoxide and thus affects child health negatively, our results further support the advice to parents of young children not to smoke.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.361690.de/diw_sp0312.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 312.

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    Length: 32 p.
    Date of creation: 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp312

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    Keywords: Indoor and outdoor pollution; health; early childhood;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Coneus, Katja & Spieß, Christa Katharina, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Health in Early Childhood," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-073, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Janet Currie & Matthew J. Neidell & Johannes Schmieder, 2008. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: Lessons from New Jersey," NBER Working Papers 14196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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).
    4. Cawley, John & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2008. "Obesity and skill attainment in early childhood," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 388-397, December.
    5. Strauss, J & Thomas, D, 1996. "Measurment and Mismeasurement of Social Indicators," Papers 96-15, RAND - Reprint Series.
    6. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Katja Coneus & C. Katharina Spieß, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Health in Early Childhood," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 126, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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