Environment and Energy Economics Weekly Seminar: W. Reed Walker

Environment and Energy Economics Weekly Seminar: W. Reed Walker
Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
2:00 pm
3:30 pm
The Luskin Center for Innovation
310-267-5435
Students, Faculty, Staff, Researchers
Luskin School of Public Affairs
337 Charles E Young Drive East 3333 School of Public Affairs Third Floor Conference Room
Los Angeles, CA 90095
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Date: 
Thu, 04/03/2014 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Presented By: 
The Luskin Center for Innovation
Contact Phone: 
310-267-5435

Location

Luskin School of Public Affairs
337 Charles E Young Drive East 3333 School of Public Affairs Third Floor Conference Room
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States
Open to: 
Students, Faculty, Staff, Researchers
Contact name: 
Christian Zarate

"Every Breath You Take | Every Dollar You'll Make:The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970"

Abstract

This paper examines the long-term impacts of in-utero and early childhood exposure to ambient air pollution on adult labor market outcomes. We take advantage of a new administrative data set that is uniquely suited for addressing this question because it combines information on individuals' quarterly earnings together with their counties and dates of birth.

"Every Breath You Take | Every Dollar You'll Make:The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970"

Abstract

This paper examines the long-term impacts of in-utero and early childhood exposure to ambient air pollution on adult labor market outcomes. We take advantage of a new administrative data set that is uniquely suited for addressing this question because it combines information on individuals' quarterly earnings together with their counties and dates of birth. We use the sharp changes in ambient air pollution concentrations driven by the implementation of the 1970 Clean Air Act Amendments as a source of identifying variation, and we compare cohorts born in counties that experienced large changes in total suspended particulate (TSP) exposure to cohorts born in counties that had minimal or no changes. We find a significant relationship between TSP exposure in the year of birth and adult labor market outcomes. A 10 unit decrease in TSP in the year of birth is associated with a 1 percent increase in annual earnings for workers aged 29-31. Most, but not all, of this effect is driven by an increase in labor force participation. In present value, the gains from being born into a county affected by the 1970 Clean Air Act amount to about $4,300 in lifetime income for the 1.5 million individuals born into these counties each year.

http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/rwalker/research/CAAlongtermHealth.pdf

 

About the Speaker:

Reed Walker is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy at the University of California - Berkeley. After his fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, he will join the faculty at the University of California - Berkeley's Haas School of Business as an assistant professor in Business and Public Policy. He received his PhD in economics from Columbia University in 2012. His research explores the social costs of environmental externalities such as air pollution and how existing regulations to limit these externalities contribute to distortions in various product markets.