Economics at your fingertips  

Are power plant closures a breath of fresh air? Local air quality and school absences

Sarah Komisarow and Emily L. Pakhtigian

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2022, vol. 112, issue C

Abstract: In this paper we study the effects of three large, nearly-simultaneous coal-fired power plant closures on school absences in Chicago. We find that the closures resulted in a 6 percent reduction in absenteeism in nearby schools relative to those farther away following the closures. For the typical elementary school in our sample, this translates into around 363 fewer absence-days per year in the aggregate, or 0.66 fewer annual absences per student. To explore potential mechanisms responsible for these absence reductions, we investigate the effects of the closures on endogenous migration to neighborhoods near the plants (mediated through housing prices) and emergency department visits for asthma-related conditions among school-age children. We do not find strong evidence of endogenous migration into neighborhoods near the coal-fired power plants following the closures but do find declines in rates of emergency department visits in areas near the three plants. Given inequalities in exposure to operational coal-fired power plants and other large, industrial polluters, our findings suggest that transitions towards alternative energy sources could play an important role in addressing educational inequality.

Keywords: Coal-fired power plants; Children; School absences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I21 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2021.102569

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

More articles in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2022-07-02
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:112:y:2022:i:c:s0095069621001182