Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality: Evidence from Indonesia's Wildfires
52 Pages Posted: 26 May 2008 Last revised: 1 Dec 2013
Date Written: May 2008
Smoke from massive wildfires blanketed Indonesia in late 1997. This paper examines the impact this air pollution (particulate matter) had on fetal, infant, and child mortality. Exploiting the sharp timing and spatial patterns of the pollution and inferring deaths from "missing children" in the 2000 Indonesian Census, I find that the pollution led to 15,600 missing children in Indonesia (1.2% of the affected birth cohorts). Prenatal exposure to pollution largely drives the result. The effect size is much larger in poorer areas, suggesting that differential effects of pollution contribute to the socioeconomic gradient in health.
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