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Does Pollution Increase School Absences?

Author

Listed:
  • Janet Currie
  • Eric Hanushek
  • E. Megan Kahn
  • Matthew Neidell
  • Steven Rivkin

Abstract

We examine the effect of air pollution on school absences using unique administrative data for elementary and middle school children in the 39 largest school districts in Texas. These data are merged with information from monitors maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency. To control for potentially confounding factors, we adopt a difference-in-difference-in differences strategy, and control for persistent characteristics of schools, years, and attendance periods in order to focus on variations in pollution within school-year-attendance period cells. We find that high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) significantly increase absences, even when they are below federal air quality standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie & Eric Hanushek & E. Megan Kahn & Matthew Neidell & Steven Rivkin, 2007. "Does Pollution Increase School Absences?," NBER Working Papers 13252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13252
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Manuel Pastor Jr & James L Sadd & Rachel Morello-Frosch, 2004. "Reading, Writing, and Toxics: Children's Health, Academic Performance, and Environmental Justice in Los Angeles," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 22(2), pages 271-290, April.
    2. Neidell, Matthew J., 2004. "Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1209-1236, November.
    3. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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