Leaded gasoline is still used globally for aviation and automotive racing. Exploiting regulatory exemptions and a novel quasi-experiment, we find that leaded gasoline use in racing increases ambient lead, elevated blood lead rates, and elderly mortality. The mortality estimates indicate that each gram of lead added to gasoline exceeds $1,100 in damages. Our setting allows us to rule out potential confounders, such as correlated pollutants or socioeconomic status. We provide the first causal estimates linking adult mortality to leaded gasoline, highlight the value of banning on-road leaded gasoline, and present policy-relevant cost estimates at the lowest ambient levels to date.
Hollingsworth, Alex, and Ivan Rudik.
"The Effect of Leaded Gasoline on Elderly Mortality: Evidence from Regulatory Exemptions."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination
Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
Valuation of Environmental Effects
Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling