Environmental Regulations on Air Pollution in China and Their Impact on Infant Mortality
AbstractDeveloping countries rank highest in air pollution worldwide, yet regulations of such pollution are still rare in these countries, thereby whether, and to what extent, those regulations lead to health benefits remain an open question. Since 1995, the Chinese government has imposed stringent regulations on pollutant emissions from power plants, as one of the first regulatory attempts on a large scale in a developing country. Exploiting the variation in the regulatory status across time and space, we find that infant mortality fell by 21 percent in the treatment cities designated as the so-called gTwo Control Zones." The greatest reduction of mortality occurred during the neonatal period, highlighting the importance of fetal exposure as a biological mechanism, and was largest among the households with low mother's educational attainment. On the other hand, the regulations are found to be uncorrelated with deaths from causes unrelated to air pollution. When the regulatory status is used as an instrumental variable for air pollution reductions, we estimate that the impact of a unit change in total suspended particulates on infant mortality is of similar magnitude to that found in the U.S., but the elasticity is substantially higher in China, suggesting the greater benefits associated with regulations when pollution is already quite high.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC) in its series IDEC DP2 Series with number 2-11.
Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Environmental regulation; infant mortality; air quality; China;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2012-06-25 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-TRA-2012-06-25 (Transition Economics)
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