Something in the Water: Contaminated Drinking Water and Infant Health
This paper provides estimates of the effects of in utero exposure to contaminated drinking water on fetal health. We examine the universe of birth records and drinking water testing results for the state of New Jersey from 1997 to 2007. Our data enable us to compare outcomes across siblings who were potentially exposed to differing levels of harmful contaminants from drinking water while in utero. We find small effects of drinking water contamination on all children, but large and statistically significant effects on birth weight and gestation of infants born to less educated mothers. We also show that those mothers who were most affected by contaminants were the least likely to move between births in response to contamination.
Currie thanks the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency (RE: 83479301-0) for supporting this research. Katherine Meckel thanks the National Science Foundation for dissertation support. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Joshua S. Graff Zivin
Joshua Graff Zivin does not have any additional disclosures.Matthew J. Neidell
Janet Currie & Joshua Graff Zivin & Katherine Meckel & Matthew Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2013. "Something in the water: contaminated drinking water and infant health," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, vol 46(3), pages 791-810. citation courtesy of