Location: 368A Heady Hall
Description: Yulong Chen
"Early exposure to air pollution and cognitive development later in life: Evidence from China"
Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between prenatal exposure to air pollution and youth cognitive skill development in China for the period 1989-2002. This study combines the air pollution data by location compiled by the World Bank with the Chinese Household Income Project. The ordinary least squares estimation results show that a one-standard-deviation increase of prenatal exposure to total suspended particulates (TSPs) lowers math scores by 0.27 standard deviations and lowers language scores by 0.22 standard deviations for children aged between 6 and 19. The two staged least squares estimation results show that a one-standard-deviation increase in TSP in utero lowers math scores by 0.31 standard deviations and lowers language scores by 0.53 standard deviations. The detrimental impact of prenatal exposure to air pollution becomes more apparent as the child ages. Air pollution exposure in utero has a more significant adverse effect than does exposure to air pollution in later childhood. The findings in this study provide additional evidence supporting the “fetal origins” hypothesis, which predicts early shocks in utero affect outcomes later in life.
Contact Person: Otavio Bartalotti