Every Breath You Take - Every Dollar You'll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970

89 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014 Last revised: 4 Apr 2015

See all articles by Adam Isen

Adam Isen

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA)

Maya Rossin-Slater

Columbia University

Reed Walker

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

Date Written: January 2014

Abstract

This paper examines the long-term impacts of early childhood exposure to air pollution on adult outcomes using U.S. administrative data. We exploit changes in air pollution driven by the 1970 Clean Air Act to analyze the difference in outcomes between cohorts born in counties before and after large improvements in air pollution relative to those same cohorts born in counties that had no improvements. We find a significant relationship between pollution exposure in the year of birth and later life outcomes. A higher pollution level in the year of birth is associated with lower labor force participation and lower earnings at age 30.

Suggested Citation

Isen, Adam and Rossin-Slater, Maya and Walker, Reed, Every Breath You Take - Every Dollar You'll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970 (January 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w19858. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2384312

Adam Isen (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA) ( email )

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Maya Rossin-Slater

Columbia University ( email )

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Reed Walker

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

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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