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Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass

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  • Janet Currie
  • W. Reed Walker

Abstract

We exploit the introduction of electronic toll collection, (E-ZPass), which greatly reduced both traffic congestion and vehicle emissions near highway toll plazas. We show that the introduction of E-ZPass reduced prematurity and low birth weight among mothers within 2km of a toll plaza by 10.8% and 11.8% respectively relative to mothers 2-10km from a toll plaza. There were no immediate changes in the characteristics of mothers or in housing prices near toll plazas that could explain these changes. The results are robust to many changes in specification and suggest that traffic congestion contributes significantly to poor health among infants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15413.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Publication status: published as Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2011. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 65-90, January.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15413

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  1. H. Spencer Banzhaf & Randall P. Walsh, 2008. "Do People Vote with Their Feet? An Empirical Test of Tiebout," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 843-63, June.
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  4. Hartog,Joop & Maassen van den Brink,Henriëtte (ed.), 2009. "Human Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521117562.
  5. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 87-122, March.
  6. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Air Quality, Infant Mortality, and the Clean Air Act of 1970," NBER Working Papers 10053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact Of Air Pollution On Infant Mortality: Evidence From Geographic Variation In Pollution Shocks Induced By A Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167, August.
  8. Christopher R. Knittel & Douglas L. Miller & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2011. "Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health," Working Papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research 1113, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  9. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  10. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
  11. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Shimshack, Jay P., 2011. "School buses, diesel emissions, and respiratory health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 987-999.
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  1. Vehicle emissions datapoint of the day
    by Felix Salmon in Felix Salmon on 2009-10-13 11:45:00
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