Environmental Statistics Seminar
Department of Biostatistics Environmental Statistics Seminar
Evan Peet, Research Fellow, Department of Global Health and Population, "Environment and Human Capital: The Effects of Early-Life Pollution Exposure in the Philippines"
ABSTRACT: Human capital, a determining factor in individual labor market and macroeconomic outcomes, is malleable to early-life investments and insults. This study examines the long-term human capital impacts of early-life exposure to criteria air pollutants in the developing economy context of Metropolitan Cebu, Philippines. A three-decade, longitudinal survey containing frequent measures of human capital is combined with macro- and micro-environmental databases characterizing exposure to carbon monoxide and ozone. An instrumental variable strategy corrects the bias from unobserved heterogeneity and measurement error. Findings indicate that height and cognition - correlates and measures of human capital - are negatively affected by increased early-life exposures. Impacts to labor market outcomes, including hours worked and earnings, vary by gender and labor sector. Carbon monoxide exposure is consistently detrimental to both height and cognition while the effects of ozone exposure grow over time and are highly detrimental to cognition and earnings. In present value terms, a nationwide 10% policy reduction in carbon monoxide and ozone levels would annually generate approximately $5.15 billion in discounted lifetime earnings per annual birth cohort.