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Life After Lead: Effects of Early Interventions for Children Exposed to Lead

Author

Listed:
  • Billings, Stephen B.

    () (University of Colorado, Boulder)

  • Schnepel, Kevin T.

    () (University of Sydney)

Abstract

Lead pollution is consistently linked to cognitive and behavioral impairments, yet little is known about the benefits of public health interventions for children exposed to lead. This paper estimates the long-term impacts of early-life interventions (e.g. lead remediation, nutritional assessment, medical evaluation, developmental surveillance, and public assistance referrals) recommended for lead-poisoned children. Using linked administrative data from Charlotte, NC, we compare outcomes for children who are similar across observable characteristics but differ in eligibility for intervention due to blood lead test results. We find that the negative outcomes previously associated with early-life exposure can largely be reversed by intervention.

Suggested Citation

  • Billings, Stephen B. & Schnepel, Kevin T., 2017. "Life After Lead: Effects of Early Interventions for Children Exposed to Lead," IZA Discussion Papers 10872, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10872
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto, 2015. "The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors," Working Papers 2015-011, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    2. Nevin, Rick, 2007. "Understanding international crime trends: The legacy of preschool lead exposure," MPRA Paper 35338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:tpr:restat:v:99:y:2017:i:4:p:698-709 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, 2015. "Lead Exposure And Behavior: Effects On Antisocial And Risky Behavior Among Children And Adolescents," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(3), pages 1580-1605, July.
    5. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    6. Nevin, Rick, 1999. "How lead exposure relates to temporal changes in IQ, violent crime, and unwed pregnancy," MPRA Paper 35324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Ferrie, Joseph P. & Rolf, Karen & Troesken, Werner, 2012. "Cognitive disparities, lead plumbing, and water chemistry: Prior exposure to water-borne lead and intelligence test scores among World War Two U.S. Army enlistees," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 98-111.
    8. Marianne P. Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes & Thurston Domina, 2014. "Experimental Evidence on Distributional Effects of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 20434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Tomás Rau & Loreto Reyes & Sergio S. Urzúa, 2013. "The Long-term Effects of Early Lead Exposure: Evidence from a case of Environmental Negligence," NBER Working Papers 18915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2017. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," NBER Working Papers 23017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Anna Aizer & Janet Currie & Peter Simon & Patrick Vivier, 2018. "Do Low Levels of Blood Lead Reduce Children's Future Test Scores?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 307-341, January.
    3. Anna Aizer & Janet Currie, 2017. "Lead and Juvenile Delinquency: New Evidence from Linked Birth, School and Juvenile Detention Records," NBER Working Papers 23392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Billings, Stephen B. & Schnepel, Kevin T., 2017. "The value of a healthy home: Lead paint remediation and housing values," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 69-81.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    lead exposure; early health shocks; early childhood intervention; human capital formation;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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