NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Hannes Schwandt

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Working Papers

August 2014The 9/11 Dust Cloud and Pregnancy Outcomes: A Reconsideration
with Janet Currie: w20368
The events of 9/11 released a million tons of toxic dust into lower Manhattan, an unparalleled environmental disaster. It is puzzling then that the literature has shown little effect of fetal exposure to the dust. However, inference is complicated by pre-existing differences between the affected mothers and other NYC mothers as well as heterogeneity in effects on boys and girls. Using all births in utero on 9/11 in NYC and comparing them to their siblings, we show that residence in the affected area increased prematurity, low birth weight, and admission to the NICU after birth, especially for boys.
September 2012A Cautionary Note on Using Industry Affiliation to Predict Income
with Jörn-Steffen Pischke: w18384
Many literatures investigate the causal impact of income on economic outcomes, for example in the context of intergenerational transmission or well-being and health. Some studies have proposed to use employer wage differentials and in particular industry affiliation as an instrument for income. We demonstrate that industry affiliation is correlated with fixed individual characteristics, specifically parents' education and own height, conditional on the covariates typically controlled for in these studies. These results suggest that there is selection into industries based on unobservables. As a result the exclusion restriction in many IV studies of this type is likely violated.

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