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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ross Levine & Chen Lin & Zigan Wang & Wensi Xie, 2018. "Bank Liquidity, Credit Supply, and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 24375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Prashant Bharadwaj & Matthew Gibson & Joshua Graff Zivin & Christopher Neilson, 2017. "Gray Matters: Fetal Pollution Exposure and Human Capital Formation," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 505-542.
    3. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Boucher, Vincent, 2015. "Polluting politics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 176-181.
    4. Ball, Alastair, 2014. "Air pollution, foetal mortality, and long-term health: Evidence from the Great London Smog," MPRA Paper 63229, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Mar 2015.
    5. Alan I. Barreca & Matthew Neidell & Nicholas J. Sanders, 2017. "Long-Run Pollution Exposure and Adult Mortality: Evidence from the Acid Rain Program," NBER Working Papers 23524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:eee:labeco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:54-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ross Levine & Chen Lin & Zigan Wang, 2018. "Toxic Emissions and Executive Migration," NBER Working Papers 24389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:4-5:p:1214-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chloe N. East & Sarah Miller & Marianne Page & Laura R. Wherry, 2017. "Multi-generational Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net: Early Life Exposure to Medicaid and the Next Generation’s Health," NBER Working Papers 23810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jeffrey Clemens, 2016. "Redistribution through Minimum Wage Regulation: An Analysis of Program Linkages and Budgetary Spillovers," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 163-189.
    11. Elsner, Benjamin & Wozny, Florian, 2018. "The Human Capital Cost of Radiation: Long-Run Evidence from Exposure Outside the Womb," IZA Discussion Papers 11408, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Liu, Haoming & Salvo, Alberto, 2017. "Severe Air Pollution and School Absences: Longitudinal Data on Expatriates in North China," IZA Discussion Papers 11134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Lichter, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Sommer, Eric, 2017. "Productivity effects of air pollution: Evidence from professional soccer," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 54-66.
    14. Matthew Gibson, 2016. "Regulation-Induced Pollution Substitution," Department of Economics Working Papers 2016-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    15. repec:eee:jeeman:v:86:y:2017:i:c:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Carillo, B.; Branco, D.; Trujillo, J.; Lima, J.;, 2017. "The Externalities of a Deforestation Control Policy in Infant Health: Evidence from Brazil," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/09, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

    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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