Impact of Pollution from Coal on the Anemic Status of Children and Women: Evidence from India

45 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2020

See all articles by Gaurav Datt

Gaurav Datt

Monash University - Department of Economics

Pushkar Maitra

Monash University - Department of Economics

Nidhiya Menon

Brandeis University - International Business School

Ranjan Ray

Monash University - Department of Economics

Sagnik Dey

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Sourangsu Chowdhury

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Abstract

Economic growth in emerging market economies has come hand-in-hand with growing demand for energy, with many of them meeting this higher demand by increased use of coal to fuel electricity generation. This paper examines the impact of pollution generated by coal fueled power units on the anemic status of children and women in India. We show that among very young children (aged 0–5 years), the number of coal units in the district in the month and year of birth significantly increases the likelihood of being anemic net of a comprehensive set of child, mother, household and district level controls. Exposure in utero matters as well for child anemia, while the number of coal plants in the district also induce greater anemia among adult women. Impacts on anemic status are driven by the growth of PM2.5 pollution attributable to emissions from coal-powered units. We undertake a series of falsification and specification checks to underline the robustness of our results. Our research adds anemia to the list of significant health costs of relying on coal-fired power generation in meeting the increasing demand for energy that emerging market economies like India face.

Keywords: anemia, coal units, PM2.5, air pollution, children, women, India

JEL Classification: I15, Q32, Q53, O12

Suggested Citation

Datt, Gaurav and Maitra, Pushkar and Menon, Nidhiya and Ray, Ranjan and Dey, Sagnik and Chowdhury, Sourangsu, Impact of Pollution from Coal on the Anemic Status of Children and Women: Evidence from India. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13522, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3660269

Gaurav Datt (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Pushkar Maitra

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3
Australia

Nidhiya Menon

Brandeis University - International Business School ( email )

Mailstop 32
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States
781-736-2230 (Phone)
781-736-2269 (Fax)

Ranjan Ray

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3
Australia

Sagnik Dey

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Department of Management Studies, Vishwakarma Bhaw
Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, Hauz Khas
New Delhi, DE 110016
India

Sourangsu Chowdhury

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Department of Management Studies, Vishwakarma Bhaw
Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, Hauz Khas
New Delhi, DE 110016
India

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