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The Lifelong Costs of Urban Smogs

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  • Ball, Alastair

    (Birkbeck, University of London)

Abstract

Exposure to smoggy days is a common part of urban life, but can be avoided by vulnerable populations with municipal investment in warnings. This paper provides the first evidence on the long-term effects of early exposure to smog. Variation comes from exposure to the Great London Smog of 1952. Affected cohorts are tracked for up to sixty years using the Office of National Statistics Longitudinal Study. Exposure to the four day smog reduced the size of the surviving cohort by 2% and caused lasting damage to human capital accumulation, employment, hours of work, and propensity to develop cancer.

Suggested Citation

  • Ball, Alastair, 2017. "The Lifelong Costs of Urban Smogs," IZA Discussion Papers 10691, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10691
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    Cited by:

    1. W. Walker Hanlon, 2015. "Pollution and Mortality in the 19th Century," NBER Working Papers 21647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. W. Walker Hanlon, 2018. "London Fog: A Century of Pollution and Mortality, 1866-1965," NBER Working Papers 24488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sefi Roth, 2017. "Air pollution, educational achievements, and human capital formation," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 381-381, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    pollution; fetal origins; Great London Smog;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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