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Energy Production and Health Externalities: Evidence from Oil Refinery Strikes in France

  • Emmanuelle Lavaine
  • Matthew J. Neidell

This paper examines the effect of energy production on newborn health using a recent strike that affected oil refineries in France as a natural experiment. First, we show that the temporary reduction in refining lead to a significant reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations. Second, this shock significantly increased birth weight and gestational age of newborns, particularly for those exposed to the strike during the third trimester of pregnancy. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that a 1 unit decline in SO2 leads to a 196 million euro increase in lifetime earnings per birth cohort. This externality from oil refineries should be an important part of policy discussions surrounding the production of energy.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18974.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18974
Note: EEE HE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Parry, Ian & Small, Kenneth, 2002. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," Discussion Papers dp-02-12-, Resources For the Future.
  2. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Mårten Palme, 2007. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 13347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Janet Currie & Matthew J. Neidell & Johannes Schmieder, 2008. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: Lessons from New Jersey," NBER Working Papers 14196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Matthew Neidell, 2009. "Information, Avoidance Behavior, and Health: The Effect of Ozone on Asthma Hospitalizations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
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  7. Enrico Moretti & Matthew Neidell, 2009. "Pollution, Health, and Avoidance Behavior: Evidence from the Ports of Los Angeles," NBER Working Papers 14939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 18935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Janet Currie & Lucas Davis & Michael Greenstone & Reed Walker, 2013. "Do Housing Prices Reflect Environmental Health Risks? Evidence From More Than 1600 Toxic Plant Openings And Closings," Working Papers 13-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Liu, Jin-Tan, 2014. "The impact of National Health Insurance on birth outcomes: A natural experiment in Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 75-91.
  11. Nicholas J. Sanders & Charles F. Stoecker, 2011. "Where Have All the Young Men Gone? Using Gender Ratios to Measure Fetal Death Rates," NBER Working Papers 17434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Wolfram Schlenker & W. Reed Walker, 2011. "Airports, Air Pollution, and Contemporaneous Health," NBER Working Papers 17684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-72, Summer.
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