The Child Health Impacts of Coal: Evidence from India’s Coal Expansion
51 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 28, 2019
What are the child health and human capital consequences of India’s large coal power expansion? Using variation in local coal capacity within place across cohorts, I find that exposure to a median-sized coal plant at birth is associated with a 0.1 standard deviation child height deficit. Supporting air pollution as a channel, effects are larger among children living closer to coal plants. Changes in coal capacity do not predict changes in other child observables, or luminosity, which indicates electricity coverage and economic development. Effects are similar for rich and poor, but rich households tend to live closer to coal plants.
Keywords: India, coal, electricity, child height, air pollution
JEL Classification: I15, Q53, Q56
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