Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-Zpass

37 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009 Last revised: 14 Aug 2010

See all articles by Janet Currie

Janet Currie

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Princeton University

Reed Walker

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 2009

Abstract

We exploit the introduction of electronic toll collection, (E-ZPass), which greatly reduced both traffic congestion and vehicle emissions near highway toll plazas. We show that the introduction of E-ZPass reduced prematurity and low birth weight among mothers within 2km of a toll plaza by 10.8% and 11.8% respectively relative to mothers 2-10km from a toll plaza. There were no immediate changes in the characteristics of mothers or in housing prices near toll plazas that could explain these changes. The results are robust to many changes in specification and suggest that traffic congestion contributes significantly to poor health among infants.

Suggested Citation

Currie, Janet and Walker, Reed, Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-Zpass (October 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15413. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1486549

Janet Currie (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
6092587393 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~jcurrie

Reed Walker

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/rwalker/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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