Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India

Michael Greenstone, Rema Hanna

NBER Working Paper No. 17210
Issued in July 2011
NBER Program(s):   CH   EEE   HE   LE   PE

Using the most comprehensive data file ever compiled on air pollution, water pollution, environmental regulations, and infant mortality from a developing country, the paper examines the effectiveness of India's environmental regulations. The air pollution regulations were effective at reducing ambient concentrations of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. The most successful air pollution regulation is associated with a modest and statistically insignificant decline in infant mortality. However, the water pollution regulations had no observable effect. Overall, these results contradict the conventional wisdom that environmental quality is a deterministic function of income and underscore the role of institutions and politics.

download in pdf format
   (1255 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17210

Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India,” (with Rema Hanna), forthcoming American Economic Review, 2014; also NBER WP # 17210; MIT Dept. of Economics WP No. 11- 11, 2011; CEEPR WP 2011-014. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Hanna and Oliva w17302 The Effect of Pollution on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Mexico City
Arceo-Gomez, Hanna, and Oliva w18349 Does the Effect of Pollution on Infant Mortality Differ Between Developing and Developed Countries? Evidence from Mexico City
Liu and Trefler w17559 A Sorted Tale of Globalization: White Collar Jobs and the Rise of Service Offshoring
Graff Zivin and Neidell w17004 The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity
Hanna, Duflo, and Greenstone w18033 Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us