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Something in the water: contaminated drinking water and infant health

Author(s): Currie, Janet M.; Graff Zivin, Joshua; Meckel, Katherine; Neidell, Matthew; Schlenker, Wolfram

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Abstract: This paper provides estimates of the effects of in utero exposure to contaminated drinking water on fetal health. To do this, we examine the universe of birth records and drinking water testing results for the state of New Jersey from 1997 to 2007. Our data enable us to compare outcomes across siblings who were potentially exposed to differing levels of harmful contaminants from drinking water while in utero. We find small effects of drinking water contamination on all children, but large and statistically significant effects on birth weight and gestation of infants born to less educated mothers. We also show that those mothers who were most affected by contamination were the least likely to move between births in response to contamination.
Publication Date: Aug-2013
Electronic Publication Date: 20-Aug-2013
Citation: Currie, Janet M., Graff Zivin, Joshua, Meckel, Katherine, Neidell, Matthew, Schlenker, Wolfram. (2013). Something in the water: contaminated drinking water and infant health. Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, 46 (3), 791 - 810. doi:10.1111/caje.12039
DOI: doi:10.1111/caje.12039
ISSN: 0008-4085
Pages: 791 - 810
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue Canadienne D'économique
Version: Author's manuscript

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