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The Effect of an Increase in Lead in the Water System on Fertility and Birth Outcomes: The Case of Flint, Michigan

Daniel Grossman and David Slusky
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Daniel Grossman: Department of Economics, West Virginia University;

No 201703, WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS from University of Kansas, Department of Economics

Abstract: Flint changed its public water source in April 2014, increasing lead exposure. The effects of lead in water on fertility and birth outcomes are not well established. Exploiting variation in the timing of births we find fertility rates decreased by 12%, fetal death rates increased by 58% (a selection effect from a culling of the least healthy fetuses), and overall health at birth decreased (from scarring), compared to other cities in Michigan. Given recent efforts to establish a registry of residents exposed, these results suggests women who miscarried, had a stillbirth or had a newborn with health complications should register.

Keywords: Women’s Health; Birth Rate; Fertility Rate; Birth Outcomes; Lead; Environmental Regulation; Michigan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H75 I12 I18 J13 Q53 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-08, Revised 2017-08
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:kan:wpaper:201703

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