Toxic Chemical Releases, Health Effects, and Productivity Losses in the United States

32 Pages Posted: 30 May 2008

See all articles by Chau-Sa Ho

Chau-Sa Ho

Ohio State University - Center for Human Resource Research

Diane Hite

Auburn University - Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology

Date Written: August 2008

Abstract

In this paper we examine the impacts of toxic chemical releases on labor productivity. The hypothesis is that exposure to releases results in chronic or acute illnesses, which increases number of work days lost. To test the hypothesis we combine data from the National Health Interview Survey with data from US Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory, using an instrumental variable approach to control for endogeneity of subjective binary health status. We find that the survey respondents are significantly more likely to have increased work days lost as their exposure to toxic releases increases and that work days lost increase at an increasing rate with the decreased health status.

Keywords: Toxic chemical releases, health status, labor productivity

JEL Classification: I10, J22, Q53

Suggested Citation

Ho, Chau-Sa and Hite, Diane, Toxic Chemical Releases, Health Effects, and Productivity Losses in the United States (August 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1139245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1139245

Chau-Sa Ho (Contact Author)

Ohio State University - Center for Human Resource Research ( email )

921 Chatham Lane
Columbus, OH 43220
United States
614-442-7379 (Phone)

Diane Hite

Auburn University - Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology ( email )

Comer Hall
Auburn, AL 36849
United States
334-844-5655 (Phone)
334-844-5639 (Fax)

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