Heavy Metal Exposure in Early Life - Health and Labour Market Perspectives

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

Abstract

This thesis consists of three empirical studies on the effects of exposure to heavy metal pollution in early childhood on a broad set of individual outcomes. The first study analyses how accumulated exposure to metal pollution during childhood affects long-run outcomes. Exploiting policy-driven reductions in metal pollution in Sweden, it shows that accumulated exposure to metals (including cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, vanadium, and zinc) leads to lower GPA scores, fewer years of education, and reduced adult wages. It also shows that these effects may contribute to intergenerational persistence of socioeconomic status due to inequalities in pollution exposure driven by parental sorting.
The second study estimates the effect of lead pollution on infant mortality in five Sub-Saharan African countries. A sharp phase-out of leaded gasoline provides exogenous variation in changes in lead pollution between those living close to major roads and those living further away to identify a causal effect. The results show that the phase-out led to a large reduction in infant mortality, particularly among girls. This effect was driven by infants born to mothers with low socioeconomic status.
The third study investigates how exposure to lead pollution in early life affects cognitive skills among school age children in Uganda. Again, it relies on the phase-out of leaded gasoline as an exogenous shock to lead pollution levels. The findings suggest a strong negative effect of lead pollution on math and English test scores, which is stronger for children exposed to lead pollution at an earlier age.
Taken together, these studies contribute to our understanding of the benefits of more stringent environmental regulations regarding heavy metal pollution.

Details

Authors
  • Yana Pryymachenko
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics

Keywords

  • Metal pollution, accumulated exposure, lead pollution, GPA, education, earnings, infant mortality, cognitive skills
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2017 May 23
Publisher
  • Printed in Sweden by Media-Tryck, Lund University
Print ISBNs978-91-7753-232-3
Electronic ISBNs978-91-7753-233-0
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2017 Apr 5
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2017-05-23 Time: 13:00 Place: Holger Crafoord Centre EC3:210 External reviewer Name: Grönqvist, Hans Title: Associate senior lecturer Affiliation: Uppsala University ---

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