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Pollution exposure and child health: Evidence for infants and toddlers in Germany

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  • Coneus, Katja
  • Spiess, C. Katharina

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of outdoor pollution and parental smoking on children's health from birth until the age of three years in Germany. We use representative data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), combined with five air pollution levels. These data were provided by the Federal Environment Agency and cover the years 2002–2007. Our work makes two important contributions. First, we use European data to replicate and extend an important US study by following the effects of pollution exposure and parental smoking on child health during the first four years of life. Second, we have health measures not only for infants but for toddlers as well. For infants, as well as for two- to three-year-olds, we are able to account for time-invariant and unobserved neighborhood and maternal characteristics. Our results suggest a significantly negative impact of some pollutants on infant health. High exposure to CO prior to birth causes, on average, a 289g lower birth weight. With respect to toddler health, we find that disorders and in particular those as bronchitis and respiratory illnesses are affected particularly by O3 levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Coneus, Katja & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2012. "Pollution exposure and child health: Evidence for infants and toddlers in Germany," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 180-196.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:180-196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.09.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cawley, John & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2008. "Obesity and skill attainment in early childhood," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 388-397, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ainhoa Aparicio & Libertad González Luna, 2013. "Newborn health and the business cycle: Is it good to be born in bad times?," Economics Working Papers 1374, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2014.
    2. Eibich, Peter & Ziebarth, Nicolas, 2014. "Examining the Structure of Spatial Health Effects in Germany Using Hierarchical Bayes Models," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 305-320.
    3. Bermudez, Bladimir Carrillo & Santos Branco, Danyelle Karine & Trujillo, Juan Carlos & de Lima, Joao Eustaquio, 2015. "Deforestation and Infant Health: Evidence from an Environmental Conservation Policy in Brazil," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 229064, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Lagravinese, R. & Moscone, F. & Tosetti, E. & Lee, H., 2014. "The impact of air pollution on hospital admissions: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 278-285.
    5. Stefan Boes & Stephan Nüesch & Steven Stillman, 2013. "Aircraft Noise, Health, And Residential Sorting: Evidence From Two Quasi‐Experiments," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(9), pages 1037-1051, September.
    6. Janke, Katharina, 2014. "Air pollution, avoidance behaviour and children's respiratory health: Evidence from England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 23-42.
    7. Hope Corman & Dhaval M. Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2017. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," NBER Working Papers 24131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Janet Currie & Joshua Graff Zivin & Katherine Meckel & Matthew Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2013. "Something in the water: contaminated drinking water and infant health," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(3), pages 791-810, August.
    9. Ziebarth, N. R. & Schmitt, M. & Karlsson, M., 2013. "The short-term population health effects of weather and pollution: implications of climate change," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/34, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    10. Anna Makles & Kerstin Schneider, 2016. "Quiet please! Adverse effects of noise on child development," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP16002, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    11. Faqin Lin & Nicholas C.S. Sim & Ngoc Pham, 2015. "Child Mortality in the LDCs: The Role of Trade, Institutions and Environmental Quality," School of Economics Working Papers 2015-15, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    12. Peter Eibich & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2013. "Examining the Structure of Spatial Health Effects in Germany Using Hierarchical Bayes Models," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 620, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    13. Luechinger, Simon, 2014. "Air pollution and infant mortality: A natural experiment from power plant desulfurization," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 219-231.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pollution exposure; Child health; Early childhood;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • 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

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