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Does Air Pollution Matter for Low Birth Weight?

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Author Info

  • Seonyeong Cho
  • Choongki Lee
  • Beomsoo Kim

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Abstract

There is growing concern that air pollution may impact the health of newborns. This study examines this issue by considering overtime variation generated by exogenous changes in the pollution level in Korea in early 2000, when some part of Korea experienced huge drop in air pollution. We matched the census of all births from 1998 to 2008 and air pollution data in mother¡¯s residence county level. For air pollutants, we considered carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and ozone levels. The mother¡¯s exposure to one ozone level above 0.12 ppm per hour during the first trimester increased the probability of low birth weight by 0.4 percentage point (0.08% of the sample mean). On the other hand, the mother¡¯s exposure to carbon monoxide or sulfur dioxide during the third trimester led to a significant but modest increase in the probability of low birth weight. The results indicate that the effects of an air pollutant on the probability of low birth weight vary according to wh en the mother is exposed to the pollutant during the pregnancy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Korea University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 1201.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1201

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Keywords: Air Pollution; Ozone; Carbon Monoxide; Sulfur Dioxide; Nitrogen Dioxide; Low Birth Weight;

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  1. 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.
  2. Currie, J. & Cole, N., 1992. "Welfare and Child Health: the Link Between AFDC Participation and Birth Weight," Working papers 92-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1999. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," NBER Working Papers 7442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1991. "Inequality at birth : The scope for policy intervention," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 205-228, October.
  5. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 16798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  7. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1985. "Birth Outcome Production Functions in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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