Something in the Water: Contaminated Drinking Water and Infant Health

20 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2013

See all articles by Janet Currie

Janet Currie

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Joshua Graff Zivin

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Katherine Meckel

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

Matthew Neidell

Columbia University; University of Chicago - Department of Economics and CISES; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Wolfram Schlenker

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August / août 2013

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.

Quelque chose dans l'eau: eau potable contaminée et santé du nourrisson. Ce mémoire développe des estimations des effets d'une exposition in utero à de l'eau potable contaminée sur la santé du fœtus. Pour ce faire, on examine l'ensemble des registres de naissance et des résultats de tests de l'eau potable dans l'état du New Jersey entre 1997 et 2007. Ces données permettent de comparer les résultats entre frères et soeurs qui ont potentiellement été exposés à des niveaux différents de contamination de l'eau potable quand ils étaient in utero. On détecte de petits effets de la contamination de l'eau sur tous les enfants, mais des effets importants et statistiquement significatifs sur le poids à la naissance et sur la gestation des nourrissons portés par des mères moins instruites. On montre aussi que ces mères qui sont les plus affectées par la contamination de l'eau sont celles qui sont le moins susceptibles de déménager entre les naissances en raison de la contamination.

Suggested Citation

Currie, Janet and Graff Zivin, Joshua and Meckel, Katherine and Neidell, Matthew and Schlenker, Wolfram, Something in the Water: Contaminated Drinking Water and Infant Health (August / août 2013). Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, Vol. 46, Issue 3, pp. 791-810, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2313517 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/caje.12039

Janet Currie (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
6092587393 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~jcurrie

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Joshua Graff Zivin

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Katherine Meckel

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

Matthew Neidell

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

University of Chicago - Department of Economics and CISES ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Wolfram Schlenker

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
2128541806 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
355
PlumX Metrics