American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 3 (May 2011)


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Superfund Cleanups and Infant Health

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Currie, Janet, Michael Greenstone, and Enrico Moretti. 2011. "Superfund Cleanups and Infant Health." American Economic Review, 101(3): 435-41.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.435


We are the first to examine the effect of Superfund cleanups on infant health rather than focusing on proximity to a site. We study singleton births to mothers residing within 5km of a Superfund site between 1989-2003 in five large states. Our "difference in differences" approach compares birth outcomes before and after a site clean-up for mothers who live within 2,000 meters of the site and those who live between 2,000-5,000 meters of a site. We find that proximity to a Superfund site before cleanup is associated with a 20 to 25% increase in the risk of congenital anomalies.

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Currie, Janet (Columbia U)
Greenstone, Michael (MIT)
Moretti, Enrico (U CA, Berkeley)

JEL Classifications

I12: Health Production
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Q53: Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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