Tell Me How I'm Supposed to Breed with No Air: Air Pollution and Fertility in the U.S. (thesis)
Washington and Lee University -- Honors in Economics
Air -- Pollution
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Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Margaret Kallus is a member of the Class of 2019 of Washington and Lee University.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.