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The Persistent Effects of Early-Life Exposure to Air Pollution: Evidence from the Indonesian Forest Fires

Maria Rosales-Rueda () and Margaret Triyana

Journal of Human Resources, 2019, vol. 54, issue 4, 1037-1080

Abstract: We analyze the effects of early-life exposure to air pollution in a developing country on children’s long-term human capital outcomes. We exploit the geographical variation of the 1997 Indonesian forest fires and cohort variation in exposure as a natural experiment. Children exposed to the fires are shorter on average three years post-exposure and have lower lung capacity 10 years post-exposure, but only children who were exposed in utero continue to exhibit shorter stature at 10 and 17 years post-exposure. We find suggestive evidence that these persistent effects may be due to expectant mothers experiencing poorer respiratory health during the fires.

JEL-codes: Q52 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.54.4.0117.8497R1
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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:54:y:2019:i:4:p:1037-1080