Does the Effect of Pollution on Infant Mortality Differ Between Developing and Developed Countries? Evidence from Mexico City

47 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2012 Last revised: 1 Sep 2013

See all articles by Eva Arceo-Gomez

Eva Arceo-Gomez

Universidad Iberoamericana

Rema Hanna

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Paulina Oliva

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics

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Date Written: June 30, 2012

Abstract

Much of what we know about the marginal effect of pollution on infant mortality is derived from developed country data. However, given the lower levels of air pollution in developed countries, these estimates may not be externally valid to the developing country context if there is a nonlinear dose relationship between pollution and mortality or if the costs of avoidance behavior differs considerably between the two contexts. In this paper, we estimate the relationship between pollution and infant mortality using data from Mexico. We find that an increase of 1 parts per billion in carbon monoxide (CO) over the last week results in 0.0032 deaths per 100,000 births, while a 1 μg/m3 increase in particulate matter (PM10) results in 0.24 infant deaths per 100,000 births. Our estimates for PM10 tend to be similar (or even smaller) than the U.S. estimates, while our findings on CO tend to be larger than those derived from the U.S. context. We provide suggestive evidence that a non-linearity in the relationship between CO and health explains this difference.

Keywords: Pollution, Infant Mortality, Mexico, Health

JEL Classification: I15, O1, Q53

Suggested Citation

Arceo-Gomez, Eva and Hanna, Rema and Oliva, Paulina, Does the Effect of Pollution on Infant Mortality Differ Between Developing and Developed Countries? Evidence from Mexico City (June 30, 2012). HKS Working Paper No. RWP12-050, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2137022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2137022

Eva Arceo-Gomez

Universidad Iberoamericana ( email )

Prol. Paseo de la Reforma, #880
Lomas de Santa Fe
Mexico, Distrito Federal 01210
Mexico
55595040004759 (Phone)
01219 (Fax)

Rema Hanna (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Paulina Oliva

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

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