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Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality: Evidence from Indonesia’s Wildfires

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  • Seema Jayachandran

Abstract

Smoke from massive wildfires blanketed Indonesia in late 1997. This paper examines the impact that this air pollution (particulate matter) had on fetal, infant, and child mortality. Exploiting the sharp timing and spatial patterns of the pollution and inferring deaths from "missing children" in the 2000 Indonesian Census, I find that the pollution led to 15,600 missing children in Indonesia (1.2 percent of the affected birth cohorts). Prenatal exposure to pollution drives the result. The effect size is much larger in poorer areas, suggesting that differential effects of pollution contribute to the socioeconomic gradient in health.

Suggested Citation

  • Seema Jayachandran, 2009. "Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality: Evidence from Indonesia’s Wildfires," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:44:y:2009:i4:p916-954
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • 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

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