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Lead and Mortality

Karen Clay, Werner Troesken and Michael Haines
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Karen Clay: Carnegie Mellon University and NBER
Michael Haines: Colgate University and NBER

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2014, vol. 96, issue 3, 458-470

Abstract: This paper examines the effect of waterborne lead exposure on infant mortality in American cities over the period 1900 to 1920. Variation across cities in water acidity and the types of service pipes, which together determined the extent of lead exposure, identifies the effects of lead on infant mortality. In 1900, a decline in exposure equivalent to an increase in pH from 6.675 (25th percentile) to 7.3 (50th percentile) in cities with lead-only pipes would have been associated with a decrease in infant mortality of 7% to 33%, or at least twelve fewer infant deaths per 1,000 live births. © 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Keywords: infant mortality; waterborne lead exposure; lead; water acidity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 N31 Q53 H75 N32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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