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Monetary benefits of preventing childhood lead poisoning with lead-safe window replacement


  • Nevin, Rick
  • Jacobs, David / E.
  • Berg, Michael
  • Cohen, Jonathan


Previous estimates of childhood lead poisoning prevention benefits have quantified the present value of some health benefits, but not the costs of lead paint hazard control or the benefits associated with housing and energy markets. Because older housing with lead paint constitutes the main exposure source today in the U.S., we quantify health benefits, costs, market value benefits, energy savings, and net economic benefits of lead-safe window replacement (which includes paint stabilization and other measures). The benefit per resident child from improved lifetime earnings alone is $21,195 in pre-1940 housing and $8,685 in 1940-59 housing (in 2005 dollars). Annual energy savings are $130 to $486 per housing unit, with or without young resident children, with an associated increase in housing market value of $5,900 to $14,300 per housing unit, depending on home size and number of windows replaced. Net benefits are $4,490 to $5,629 for each housing unit built before 1940, and $491 to $1,629 for each unit built from 1940-1959, depending on home size and number of windows replaced. Lead-safe window replacement in all pre-1960 U.S. housing would yield net benefits of at least $67 billion, which does not include many other benefits. These other benefits, which are shown in this paper, include avoided Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, other medical costs of childhood lead exposure, avoided special education, and reduced crime and juvenile delinquency in later life. In addition, such a window replacement effort would reduce peak demand for electricity, carbon emissions from power plants, and associated long-term costs of climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Nevin, Rick & Jacobs, David / E. & Berg, Michael & Cohen, Jonathan, 2007. "Monetary benefits of preventing childhood lead poisoning with lead-safe window replacement," MPRA Paper 35340, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35340

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nevin, Rick & Bender, Christopher & Gazan, Heather, 1999. "More evidence of rational market values for home energy efficiency," MPRA Paper 35344, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Nevin, Rick, 2007. "Understanding international crime trends: The legacy of preschool lead exposure," MPRA Paper 35338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dinan, Terry M. & Miranowski, John A., 1989. "Estimating the implicit price of energy efficiency improvements in the residential housing market: A hedonic approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 52-67, January.
    4. Nevin, Rick & Jacobs, David / E., 2006. "Windows of opportunity: lead poisoning prevention, housing affordability, and energy conservation," MPRA Paper 35342, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Laquatra, Joseph, 1986. "Housing market capitalization of thermal integrity," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 134-138, July.
    6. Nevin, Rick, 1999. "How lead exposure relates to temporal changes in IQ, violent crime, and unwed pregnancy," MPRA Paper 35324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Nevin, Rick & Watson, Gregory, 1998. "Evidence of rational market valuations for home energy efficiency," MPRA Paper 35343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/691686 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Vivian Wing-Yan Tam & Weisheng Lu, 2016. "Construction Waste Management Profiles, Practices, and Performance: A Cross-Jurisdictional Analysis in Four Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Sammy Zahran & Terrence Iverson & Shawn P. McElmurry & Stephan Weiler, 2017. "The Effect of Leaded Aviation Gasoline on Blood Lead in Children," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 575-610.
    4. Nevin, Rick, 2010. "Energy-efficient housing stimulus that pays for itself," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 4-11, January.
    5. Nevin, Rick, 2012. "Lead Poisoning and The Bell Curve," MPRA Paper 36569, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Nevin, Rick, 2008. "Trends in preschool lead exposure, mental retardation, and scholastic achievement: association or causation?," MPRA Paper 35339, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Lead Poisoning; IQ; Energy Efficiency; Cost Benefit Analysis; Housing; Climate Change;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis


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