Weekly Economics Seminar by Prachi Singh
February 26 @ 1:30 pm - 2:40 pm
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Title: Early Life Exposure to Outdoor Air Pollution: Effect on Child Health in India
Speaker: Prachi Singh, Ph.D. Candidate, ISI Delhi & Associate Fellow, Brookings India
Abstract: This paper examines effect of outdoor air pollution on child health in India by combining satellite PM2.5 data with geo-coded Demographic and Health Survey of India(2016). We use an instrumental variable strategy for identification as local pollution levels may be endogenous due to local household behavioural choices like participation in local fuel wood market, burning crop residue etc which are not observed in survey data. Our identification strategy relies on use of upwind biomass burning events in neighbouring areas to identify the effect of air pollution on child health. Our results indicate that one standard deviation increase in exposure to pollution during first trimester lowers Height-for-age (by 7.9 percent) and Weight-for-age (by 6.7 percent). We find that it affects more poor people and those living in the Northern states of India which have higher pollution levels.