Spatial Identification of Coal Power Plant Emission Effects on Education Access
Montana State University - Bozeman
Boston University - School of Public Health
September 26, 2012
Adverse educational outcomes have been repeatedly linked to recurring school absenteeism. Asthma is the most prevalent pediatric chronic illness and is the leading cause of health-related school absenteeism. This study seeks to understand the impacts of coal power plant emissions on asthma aggravation and resulting school absenteeism. Data from a unique, nationally administered pediatric asthma survey are combined with power plant emissions information to estimate the emissions' impacts on school absenteeism by asthmatic children. Exogenous wind pattern information and structural corrections for selection bias are used to identify households affected by emissions. Empirical results show a robustly positive relationship between power plant emissions and asthma-induced school absences. Moreover, we show that without appropriate identification and controls for self-selection, effects of coal power plant emissions on school absenteeism are underestimated.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: Asthma Call Back Survey, pediatric asthma, power plant emissions, school attendance, spatial identification
JEL Classification: I18, I20, Q53, C21working papers series
Date posted: September 26, 2012
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