The Health Costs of Coal-Fired Power Plants in India

39 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2019

See all articles by Geoffrey Barrows

Geoffrey Barrows

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - CMAP CNRS-UMR 7641 and Ecole Polytechnique

Teevrat Garg

School of Global Policy and Strategy, UCSD

Akshaya Jha

Carnegie Mellon University

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Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of coal-fired power plants on infant mortality in India. We find that a one GW increase in coal-fired capacity corresponds to a 14% increase in infant mortality rates in districts near versus far from the plant site. This effect is 2-3 times larger than estimates from the developed world. Our effects are larger for: (1) older plants, (2) plants located in areas with higher baseline levels of pollution, and (3) plants burning domestic rather than imported coal. The environmental benefits from policy aimed at the power sector are thus likely to be substantially higher if targeted at older plants located in more polluted areas tailored to burn domestic rather than imported coal.

Keywords: coal, electricity, India, air pollution, infant mortality, infrastructure

JEL Classification: I15, Q51, Q56, Q48

Suggested Citation

Barrows, Geoffrey and Garg, Teevrat and Jha, Akshaya, The Health Costs of Coal-Fired Power Plants in India. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3510449 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3510449

Geoffrey Barrows (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - CMAP CNRS-UMR 7641 and Ecole Polytechnique ( email )

Route de Saclay
Palaiseau, 91128
France

Teevrat Garg

School of Global Policy and Strategy, UCSD ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Akshaya Jha

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

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