An Assessment of the Benefits of Air Pollution Control: The Case of Infant Health
NBER Working Paper No. 1928 (Also Reprint No. r1195)
This paper contains estimates of the impacts of air pollutants on race-specific neonatal mortality rates based on data for heavily populated counties of the U.S. in 1977. Unlike previous research in this area, these estimates are obtained from awell specified behavioral model of the production of health, which is estimated with the appropriate simultaneous equations techniques. The results suggest that sulfur dioxide is the dominant air pollutant in newborn survival outcomes. There is also evidence that an increase in sulfur dioxide raises the neonatal mortality rate by raising the percentage of low-birth weight births. Based on marginal-willingness-to-pay computations, we estimate that the benefits of a 10 percent reduction insulfur dioxide levels range between $54 million and $1.09 billion in 1977 dollars.
Published: Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 25, pp. 32-51, (January 1989).