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School bus emissions, student health and academic performance

Wes Austin, Garth Heutel () and Daniel Kreisman ()

Economics of Education Review, 2019, vol. 70, issue C, 109-126

Abstract: Diesel emissions from school buses expose children to high levels of air pollution; retrofitting bus engines can substantially reduce this exposure. Using variation from 2656 retrofits across Georgia, we estimate effects of emissions reductions on district-level health and academic achievement. We demonstrate positive effects on respiratory health, measured by a statewide test of aerobic capacity. Placebo tests on body mass index show no impact. We also find that retrofitting districts experience significant test score gains in English and smaller gains in math. Our results suggest that engine retrofits can have meaningful and cost-effective impacts on health and cognitive functioning.

Keywords: Pollution; Health; Test scores; School bus; Diesel retrofit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 I20 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2019.03.002

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