Can Pollution Cause Poverty? The Effects of Pollution on Educational, Health and Economic Outcomes
43 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2020 Last revised: 29 Apr 2020
Date Written: February 12, 2020
Although pollution is widespread, there is little evidence about how it might harm children’s long-run outcomes. Using the detailed, geocoded data that follows national representative cohorts of children born to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth respondents over time, I compare siblings who were gestating before versus after a Toxic Release Inventory site opened or closed within one mile of their home. I find that children who were exposed prenatally to industrial pollution have lower wages, are more likely to be in poverty as adults, have fewer years of completed education, and are less likely to graduate high school.
Keywords: pollution, airborne toxics, child development, poverty, education
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