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Every Breath You Take - Every Dollar You'll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970

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  • Adam Isen
  • Maya Rossin-Slater
  • W. Reed Walker

Abstract

This paper examines the long-term impacts of early childhood exposure to air pollution on adult outcomes using U.S. administrative data. We exploit changes in air pollution driven by the 1970 Clean Air Act to analyze the difference in outcomes between cohorts born in counties before and after large improvements in air pollution relative to those same cohorts born in counties that had no improvements. We find a significant relationship between pollution exposure in the year of birth and later life outcomes. A higher pollution level in the year of birth is associated with lower labor force participation and lower earnings at age 30.

Suggested Citation

  • Adam Isen & Maya Rossin-Slater & W. Reed Walker, 2014. "Every Breath You Take - Every Dollar You'll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970," NBER Working Papers 19858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19858
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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