Does Animal Feeding Operation Pollution Hurt Public Health? A National Longitudinal Study of Health Externalities Identified by Geographic Shifts in Livestock Production

Posted: 17 Jan 2009  

Stacy Sneeringer

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Abstract

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently gathering data to regulate livestock facilities under the Clean Air Act, legislation that purports to protect public health. To set rational policy, estimates of health externalities associated with livestock farming are necessary. This study uses geographic shifts in the industry to measure the impact of pollution on infant health. The article finds that a doubling of production leads to a 7.4% increase in infant mortality. This finding is robust with respect to the inclusion of multiple fixed and time-varying controls. The mortality increases are driven by elevated levels of respiratory diseases, providing suggestive evidence of an air pollution mechanism.

Suggested Citation

Sneeringer, Stacy, Does Animal Feeding Operation Pollution Hurt Public Health? A National Longitudinal Study of Health Externalities Identified by Geographic Shifts in Livestock Production. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 91, No. 1, pp. 124-137, February 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1327323 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8276.2008.01161.x

Stacy Sneeringer (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
(202) 694-5504 (Phone)

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