Can Pollution Cause Poverty? The Effects of Pollution on Educational, Health, and Economic Outcomes

Dr. Claudia Persico, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration & Policy, American University
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Via Zoom (Pre-registration is required for this event; listed below)
Add to Calendar 2020-04-17 14:00:00 2020-04-17 15:30:00 Can Pollution Cause Poverty? The Effects of Pollution on Educational, Health, and Economic Outcomes Pre-register for this event here. Although industrial plants, known as Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites, exist in every major city of the United States releasing billions of pounds of toxic substances annually, there is little evidence about how these pollutants might harm child development and children’s long run outcomes. Using the detailed geocoded data that follows national representative cohorts of children born to the NLSY respondents over time with detailed information on families, locations, health, disability and labor market outcomes, I compare siblings who were gestating before versus after a TRI site opened or closed within one mile of their home. In other words, I compare siblings in the same family whose family does not move between births where one or more child was exposed to TRI pollution during gestation and other siblings were not exposed because the plant opened or closed in between the conceptions of different children in the same family. I find that children who were exposed prenatally to TRI pollution have lower wages, are more likely to be in poverty as adults, have fewer years of completed education, are less likely to graduate high school, and are more likely to have a disability. Claudia Persico is an applied policy scholar whose research focuses on environmental policy, inequality, health and education policy using causal inference methods. Persico is also an IZA Research Affiliate, and a Research Affiliate with the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Her research has recently been featured in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics,and the Journal of Human Resources. Her current work examines the social and biological mechanisms underlying the relationships between poverty, the environment, and children’s cognitive development and health. In particular,much of her current research focuses on how early exposure to environmental pollution can cause inequality by affecting child health, development, behavior, and academic achievement.She has also studied how school fundingaffects long term outcomes, how school segregation impacts racial disproportionalities in special education, and how childhood exposure to pollution affects academic outcomes. Her research has been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, the Atlantic, and many other major media outlets. She was formerly an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Via Zoom (Pre-registration is required for this event; listed below) Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs truman@missouri.edu America/Chicago public

Pre-register for this event here.

Although industrial plants, known as Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites, exist in every major city of the United States releasing billions of pounds of toxic substances annually, there is little evidence about how these pollutants might harm child development and children’s long run outcomes. Using the detailed geocoded data that follows national representative cohorts of children born to the NLSY respondents over time with detailed information on families, locations, health, disability and labor market outcomes, I compare siblings who were gestating before versus after a TRI site opened or closed within one mile of their home. In other words, I compare siblings in the same family whose family does not move between births where one or more child was exposed to TRI pollution during gestation and other siblings were not exposed because the plant opened or closed in between the conceptions of different children in the same family. I find that children who were exposed prenatally to TRI pollution have lower wages, are more likely to be in poverty as adults, have fewer years of completed education, are less likely to graduate high school, and are more likely to have a disability.

Claudia Persico is an applied policy scholar whose research focuses on environmental policy, inequality, health and education policy using causal inference methods. Persico is also an IZA Research Affiliate, and a Research Affiliate with the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Her research has recently been featured in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics,and the Journal of Human Resources. Her current work examines the social and biological mechanisms underlying the relationships between poverty, the environment, and children’s cognitive development and health. In particular,much of her current research focuses on how early exposure to environmental pollution can cause inequality by affecting child health, development, behavior, and academic achievement.She has also studied how school fundingaffects long term outcomes, how school segregation impacts racial disproportionalities in special education, and how childhood exposure to pollution affects academic outcomes. Her research has been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, the Atlantic, and many other major media outlets. She was formerly an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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