May 31, 2013
In 1998, the Chinese government imposed stringent air pollution regulations, in one of the first large-scale regulatory attempts in a developing country. In a recent working paper titled "Environmental Regulations on Air Pollution in China and their Impact on Infant Mortality," Shinsuke Tanaka, Assistant Professor of Economics, finds that the infant mortality rate fell by 20 percent in the treatment cities designated as "Two Control Zones." The greatest reduction in mortality occurred during the neonatal period, highlighting an important pathophysiologic mechanism, and was largest among infants born to mothers with low levels of education. The finding is robust to adjusting for pre-exiting trends. Further, a falsification test using deaths from causes unrelated to air pollution supports these findings.
Access the paper here.
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