NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by E. Megan. Kahn

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Working Papers

July 2007Does Pollution Increase School Absences?
with Janet Currie, Eric Hanushek, Matthew Neidell, Steven Rivkin: w13252
We examine the effect of air pollution on school absences using unique administrative data for elementary and middle school children in the 39 largest school districts in Texas. These data are merged with information from monitors maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency. To control for potentially confounding factors, we adopt a difference-in-difference-in differences strategy, and control for persistent characteristics of schools, years, and attendance periods in order to focus on variations in pollution within school-year-attendance period cells. We find that high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) significantly increase absences, even when they are below federal air quality standards.

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