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Does Pollution Increase School Absences?

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

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13252.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13252.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Publication status: published as Janet Currie & Eric A Hanushek & E. Megan Kahn & Matthew Neidell & Steven G Rivkin, 2009. "Does Pollution Increase School Absences?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 682-694, 02.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13252
Note: CH ED EEE HC HE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. 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, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167, August.
  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.
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