Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health

45 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2011 Last revised: 23 Oct 2013

See all articles by Christopher R. Knittel

Christopher R. Knittel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Douglas L. Miller

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Nicholas J. Sanders

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management

Date Written: July 2011

Abstract

Since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA), atmospheric concentration of local pollutants has fallen drastically. A natural question is whether further reductions will yield additional health benefits. We further this research by addressing two related research questions: (1) what is the impact of automobile driving (and especially congestion) on ambient air pollution levels, and (2) what is the impact of modern air pollution levels on infant health? Our setting is California (with a focus on the Central Valley and Southern California) in the years 2002-2007. Using an instrumental variables approach that exploits the relationship between traffic, ambient weather conditions, and various pollutants, our findings suggest that ambient pollution levels, specifically particulate matter, still have large impacts on weekly infant mortality rates. Our results also illustrate the importance of weather controls in measuring pollution's impact on infant mortality.

Suggested Citation

Knittel, Christopher R. and Miller, Douglas L. and Sanders, Nicholas J., Caution, Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health (July 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17222, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1886911

Christopher R. Knittel (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Douglas L. Miller

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

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Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-8490 (Phone)

Nicholas J. Sanders

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://njsanders.human.cornell.edu

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