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

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  • Theodore J. Joyce
  • Michael Grossman
  • Fred Goldman

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman & Fred Goldman, 1986. "An Assessment of the Benefits of Air Pollution Control: The Case of Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 1928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1928
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Valuing Health Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 241-245, May.
    3. Ann D. Colle & Michael Grossman, 1978. "Determinants of Pediatric Care Utilization," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Physician and Patient Behavior, pages 115-158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(4), pages 695-713, November.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    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. 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 259-280, April.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    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 1583-1588, November.
    15. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mansfield, Carol & Reed Johnson, F. & Van Houtven, George, 2006. "The missing piece: Valuing averting behavior for children's ozone exposures," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 215-228, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Dickie, Mark & Messman, Victoria L., 2004. "Parental altruism and the value of avoiding acute illness: are kids worth more than parents?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1146-1174, November.
    4. Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2018. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(1), pages 6-47, July.
    5. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 689-730, September.
    6. Birchenall, Javier A. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2009. "Altruism, fertility, and the value of children: Health policy evaluation and intergenerational welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 280-295, February.
    7. Hope Corman & Theodore Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1987. "A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Strategies to Reduce Infant Mortality," NBER Working Papers 2346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bilger, Marcel & Carrieri, Vincenzo, 2013. "Health in the cities: When the neighborhood matters more than income," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-11.
    9. Mark D. Agee & Thomas D. Crocker, 2002. "On Techniques to Value the Impact of Environmental Hazards on Children's Health," NCEE Working Paper Series 200208, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Sep 2002.
    10. Mark D. Agee & Thomas D. Crocker, 2004. "Transferring Measures of Adult Health Benefits to Children: A Review of Issues and Results," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(4), pages 468-482, October.
    11. Jennifer Franz & Felix R. FitzRoy, 2005. "Child mortaility, poverty and environment in developing countries," Discussion Paper Series, School of Economics and Finance 200518, School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews.
    12. Jim Neumann & Harriet Greenwood, 2002. "Existing Literature and Recommended Strategies for Valuation of Children's Health Effects," NCEE Working Paper Series 200207, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Sep 2002.
    13. Richardson, Leslie A. & Champ, Patricia A. & Loomis, John B., 2012. "The hidden cost of wildfires: Economic valuation of health effects of wildfire smoke exposure in Southern California," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 14-35.
    14. Leslie Richardson & John B. Loomis & Patricia A. Champ, 2013. "Valuing Morbidity from Wildfire Smoke Exposure: A Comparison of Revealed and Stated Preference Techniques," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(1), pages 76-100.
    15. Luechinger, Simon, 2014. "Air pollution and infant mortality: A natural experiment from power plant desulfurization," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 219-231.

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