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Environmental regulations on air pollution in China and their impact on infant mortality

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  • Tanaka, Shinsuke

Abstract

This study explores the impact of environmental regulations in China on infant mortality. In 1998, the Chinese government imposed stringent air pollution regulations, in one of the first large-scale regulatory attempts in a developing country. We find that the infant mortality rate fell by 20 percent in the treatment cities designated as “Two Control Zones.” The greatest reduction in mortality occurred during the neonatal period, highlighting an important pathophysiologic mechanism, and was largest among infants born to mothers with low levels of education. The finding is robust to various alternative hypotheses and specifications. Further, a falsification test using deaths from causes unrelated to air pollution supports these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Tanaka, Shinsuke, 2015. "Environmental regulations on air pollution in China and their impact on infant mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 90-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:42:y:2015:i:c:p:90-103
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2015.02.004
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infant mortality; Air pollution; Environmental regulation; China;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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