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An Assessment of the Benefits of Air Pollution Control: The Case of Infant Health

  • Theodore J. Joyce
  • Michael Grossman
  • Fred Goldman

This paper contains estimates of the impacts of air pollutants on race-specific neonatal mortality rates based on data for heavily populated counties of the U.S. in 1977. Unlike previous research in this area, these estimates are obtained from awell specified behavioral model of the production of health, which is estimated with the appropriate simultaneous equations techniques. The results suggest that sulfur dioxide is the dominant air pollutant in newborn survival outcomes. There is also evidence that an increase in sulfur dioxide raises the neonatal mortality rate by raising the percentage of low-birth weight births. Based on marginal-willingness-to-pay computations, we estimate that the benefits of a 10 percent reduction insulfur dioxide levels range between $54 million and $1.09 billion in 1977 dollars.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1928.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1928.

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Date of creation: May 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 25, pp. 32-51, (January 1989).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1928
Note: 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. Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1980. "The Relationship Between Children's Health and Intellectual Development," NBER Working Papers 0213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Valuing Health Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 241-45, May.
  3. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1985. "Birth Outcome Production Functions in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ann D. Colle & Michael Grossman, 1979. "Determinants of Pediatric Care Utilization," NBER Working Papers 0240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jeffrey E. Harris, 1982. "Prenatal Medical Care and Infant Mortality," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 13-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mendelsohn, Robert & Orcutt, Guy, 1979. "An empirical analysis of air pollution dose-response curves," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 85-106, June.
  7. Corman, Hope & Grossman, Michael, 1985. "Determinants of neonatal mortality rates in the U.S. : A reduced form model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 213-236, September.
  8. Gilbert R. Ghez & Michael Grossman, 1979. "Preventive Care, Care for Children and National Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 0417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1982. "The Behavior of Mothers as Inputs to Child Health: The Determinants of Birth Weight, Gestation, and Rate of Fetal Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 53-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Michael Grossman & Steven Jacobowitz, 1981. "Variations in Infant Mortality Rates among Counties in the United States: The Roles of Social Policies and Programs," NBER Working Papers 0615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Theodore J. Joyce, 1985. "The Impact of Induced Abortion on Birth Outcomes in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Goldman, Fred & Grossman, Michael, 1978. "The Demand for Pediatric Care: An Hedonic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages 259-80, April.
  13. Atkinson, Scott E. & Crocker, Thomas D. & Murdock, Robert G., 1985. "Have priors in aggregate air pollution epidemiology dictated posteriors?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 319-334, May.
  14. Nakamura, Alice & Nakamura, Masao, 1981. "On the Relationships among Several Specification Error Tests Presented by Durbin, Wu, and Hausman," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1583-88, November.
  15. Michael Grossman & Steven Jacobowitz, 1981. "Variations in infant mortality rates among counties of the United States: The roles of public policies and programs," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 695-713, November.
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