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Economic Status, Air Quality, and Child Health: Evidence from Inversion Episodes

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Author Info

  • Jans, Jenny

    ()
    (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

  • Johansson, Per

    ()
    (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

  • Nilsson, J Peter

    ()
    (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

Abstract

On normal days, the temperature decreases with altitude, allowing air pollutants to rise and disperse. During inversion episodes, a warmer air layer at higher altitude traps pollu- tants close to the ground. We show how readily available NASA satellite data on vertical temperature proles can be used to measure inversion episodes on a global scale with high spatial and temporal resolution. Then, we link inversion episode data to ground level pollution monitors and to daily in- and outpatient records for the universe of children in Sweden during a six-year period to provide instrumental variable estimates of the eects of air quality on children's health. The IV estimates show that the respiratory illness health care visit rate increases by 8 percent for each 10 m=m3 increase in PM10; an es- timate four times higher than conventional estimates. Importantly, by linking the health care data to detailed records of parental background characteristics, we show that chil- dren from low-income households suer signicantly more from air pollution than children from high income households. Finally, we provide evidence on the importance of several mechanisms that could contribute to the dierence in the impact of air pollution across children in rich and poor households.

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File URL: http://www.ucls.nek.uu.se/digitalAssets/211/211599_201401.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies with number 2014:1.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 20 Jan 2014
Date of revision: 29 Jan 2014
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uulswp:2014_001

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Email:
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Air pollution; Health; inversions; environmental policy; instrumental variable; nonparametric regression; socio-economic gradient in health;

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References

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  1. 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).
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  11. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
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  14. Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Matthew J. Neidell, 2011. "The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity," NBER Working Papers 17004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Nicholas J. Sanders, 2012. "What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Weaker: Prenatal Pollution Exposure and Educational Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 826-850.
  16. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2010. "The Needs of the Army: Using Compulsory Relocation in the Military to Estimate the Effect of Air Pollutants on Children’s Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
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