NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass

Janet Currie, W. Reed Walker

NBER Working Paper No. 15413
Issued in October 2009
NBER Program(s):   CH   EEE   HE   PE

We exploit the introduction of electronic toll collection, (E-ZPass), which greatly reduced both traffic congestion and vehicle emissions near highway toll plazas. We show that the introduction of E-ZPass reduced prematurity and low birth weight among mothers within 2km of a toll plaza by 10.8% and 11.8% respectively relative to mothers 2-10km from a toll plaza. There were no immediate changes in the characteristics of mothers or in housing prices near toll plazas that could explain these changes. The results are robust to many changes in specification and suggest that traffic congestion contributes significantly to poor health among infants.

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This paper was revised on April 10, 2012

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15413

Published: Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2011. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 65-90, January. citation courtesy of

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