Michael Greenstone

The 1981–1982 recession induced substantial variation across sites in air pollution reductions. This is used to estimate the impact of total suspended particulates (TSPs) on infant mortality. We find that a 1-percent reduction in TSPs results in a 0.35 percent decline in the infant mortality rate at the county level, implying that 2500 fewer infants died from 1980–1982 than would have in the absence of the TSPs reductions. Most of these effects are driven by fewer deaths occurring within one month of birth, suggesting that fetal exposure is a potential pathophysiologic mechanism. The analysis also reveals nonlinear effects of TSPs pollution and greater sensitivity of black infant mortality at the county level. Importantly, the estimates are stable across a variety of specifications.

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Areas of Focus: Environment
Definition
Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
Definition
Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...