Air Pollution and Student Performance in the U.S.

30 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2022

See all articles by Michael Gilraine

Michael Gilraine

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

Angela Zheng

McMaster University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 14, 2022

Abstract

We combine satellite-based pollution data and test scores from over 10,000 U.S. school districts to estimate the relationship between air pollution and test scores. To deal with potential endogeneity we instrument for air quality using (i) year-to-year coal production variation and (ii) a shift-share instrument that interacts fuel shares used for nearby power production with national growth rates. We find that each one-unit increase in particulate pollution reduces test scores by 0.02 standard deviations. Our findings indicate that declines in particulate pollution exposure raised test scores and reduced the black-white test score gap by 0.06 and 0.01 standard deviations, respectively.

Keywords: air pollution, education, coal

JEL Classification: Q53, I14, I24

Suggested Citation

Gilraine, Michael and Zheng, Angela, Air Pollution and Student Performance in the U.S. (February 14, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4036650 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4036650

Michael Gilraine

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

19 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Angela Zheng (Contact Author)

McMaster University ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

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