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

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  • Emmanuelle Lavaine
  • Matthew J. Neidell

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuelle Lavaine & Matthew J. Neidell, 2013. "Energy Production and Health Externalities: Evidence from Oil Refinery Strikes in France," NBER Working Papers 18974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18974
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    Cited by:

    1. Hollingsworth, Alex & Konisky, David & Zirogiannis, Nikos, 2021. "The health consequences of excess emissions: Evidence from Texas," OSF Preprints gc73x, Center for Open Science.
    2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Paul, Alexander & Reinhold, Steffen, 2020. "Economic conditions and the health of newborns: Evidence from comprehensive register data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    3. Gupta, Aashish & Spears, Dean, 2017. "Health externalities of India's expansion of coal plants: Evidence from a national panel of 40,000 households," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 262-276.
    4. Barrows, Geoffrey & Garg, Teevrat & Jha, Akshaya, 2019. "The Health Costs of Coal-Fired Power Plants in India," IZA Discussion Papers 12838, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Hill, Elaine L., 2018. "Shale gas development and infant health: Evidence from Pennsylvania," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 134-150.
    6. Lavaine, Emmanuelle, 2019. "Environmental risk and differentiated housing values: Evidence from the north of France," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 74-87.
    7. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Oloomi, Sara, 2019. "Environmental disaster, pollution and infant health: Evidence from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    8. Wang, Yangjie & Chen, Xiaohong & Ren, Shenggang, 2019. "Clean energy adoption and maternal health: Evidence from China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    9. Matilde Giaccherini & Joanna Kopinska & Alessandro Palma, 2019. "When Particulate Matter Strikes Cities: Social Disparities and Health Costs of Air Pollution," CEIS Research Paper 467, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 04 Aug 2020.
    10. Heyes, Anthony & Zhu, Mingying, 2019. "Air pollution as a cause of sleeplessness: Social media evidence from a panel of Chinese cities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    11. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Paul, Alexander & Reinhold, Steffen, 2018. "Econometric analysis of the effects of economic conditions on the health of newborns," Working Paper Series 2018:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    12. Chen, Siyu & Guo, Chongshan & Huang, Xinfei, 2018. "Air Pollution, Student Health, and School Absences: Evidence from China," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 465-497.
    13. Li, Hao & Guo, Huanxiu & Huang, Naqun & Ye, Jingjing, 2020. "Health risks of exposure to waste pollution: Evidence from Beijing," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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