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Military Training Exercises, Pollution, and their Consequences for Health

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  • Gustavo J. Bobonis
  • Mark Stabile
  • Leonardo Tovar

Abstract

Militaries around the world perform training exercises in preparation for war. We study the relationship between in utero exposure to military exercises (bombing) and early-life health outcomes, combining data on naval bombing exercises in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and the universe of births from 1990-2003. Using a differences-in-differences design, we find that the sudden end of bombing practices is associated with a 56-79 percent decrease in the incidence of congenital anomalies and an overall improvement in a neonatal health outcomes index of 0.07. The evidence is generally consistent with the channel of environmental pollution; increases in arsenic levels in waters surrounding the live impact area.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo J. Bobonis & Mark Stabile & Leonardo Tovar, 2018. "Military Training Exercises, Pollution, and their Consequences for Health," Working Papers tecipa-627, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-627
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 5th October 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-10-05 11:00:05

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    Cited by:

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    2. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Luis Raúl Cámara Fuertes & Harold J. Toro & Julie Wilson, 2021. "Development and Decay: Political Organization, Economic Conditions, and Municipal Corruption in Puerto Rico, 1952-2015," Working Papers tecipa-687, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    3. Lautharte, Ildo, 2021. "Babies and Bandidos: Birth outcomes in pacified favelas of Rio de Janeiro," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    4. Lee, Wang-Sheng & Tran, Trang My, 2024. "Emissions from Military Training: Evidence from Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 16889, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infant health; military activity; environmental pollution; maternal stress;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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