Tell Me How I'm Supposed to Breed with No Air: Air Pollution and Fertility in the U.S. (thesis)
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Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy is known to cause adverse infant health outcomes. However, less is known about the effect of pollution on fertility. In this paper, I use EPA air quality monitor data and NCHS vital statistics from 1980-2002 to examine associations between air pollution levels and race-specific county-level fertility nine months later. I use an instrumental variables framework to provide an alternate set of coefficients to OLS for fine particulate matter. With a p-value of 0.12, I find that a one standard deviation increase in fine particulate matter (PM 10) causes a roughly 7% reduction in county fertility. This is not robust to population weighting, suggesting possible treatment effect heterogeneity.