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Does the Effect of Pollution on Infant Mortality Differ Between Developing and Developed Countries? Evidence from Mexico City

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  • Eva O. Arceo-Gomez
  • Rema Hanna
  • Paulina Oliva

Abstract

Much of what we know about the marginal effect of pollution on infant mortality is derived from developed country data. However, given the lower levels of air pollution in developed countries, these estimates may not be externally valid to the developing country context if there is a nonlinear dose relationship between pollution and mortality or if the costs of avoidance behavior differs considerably between the two contexts. In this paper, we estimate the relationship between pollution and infant mortality using data from Mexico. We find that an increase of 1 parts per billion in carbon monoxide (CO) over the last week results in 0.0032 deaths per 100,000 births, while a 1 μg/m3 increase in particulate matter (PM10) results in 0.24 infant deaths per 100,000 births. Our estimates for PM10 tend to be similar (or even smaller) than the U.S. estimates, while our findings on CO tend to be larger than those derived from the U.S. context. We provide suggestive evidence that a non-linearity in the relationship between CO and health explains this difference.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18349.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18349

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Cited by:
  1. Duflo, Esther C. & Hanna, Rema N. & Greenstone, Michael, 2012. "Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves," Scholarly Articles 8694934, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Jans, Jenny & Johansson, Per & Nilsson, J Peter, 2014. "Economic Status, Air Quality, and Child Health: Evidence from Inversion Episodes," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies, Uppsala University, Department of Economics 2014:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2014.
  3. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field," NBER Working Papers 19426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Shimshack, Jay P., 2014. "Air pollution and children's respiratory health: A cohort analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 39-57.
  5. Garth Heutel & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2013. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," NBER Working Papers 18959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Barreca, Alan I. & Clay, Karen & Tarr, Joel, 2014. "Coal, Smoke, and Death: Bituminous Coal and American Home Heating," IZA Discussion Papers 7987, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Alan Barreca & Karen Clay & Joel Tarr, 2014. "Coal, Smoke, and Death: Bituminous Coal and American Home Heating," NBER Working Papers 19881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cesur, Resul & Tekin, Erdal & Ulker, Aydogan, 2013. "Air Pollution and Infant Mortality: Evidence from the Expansion of Natural Gas Infrastructure," IZA Discussion Papers 7179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Brainerd, Elizabeth & Menon, Nidhiya, 2014. "Seasonal effects of water quality: The hidden costs of the Green Revolution to infant and child health in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 49-64.

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