nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2022‒09‒05
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Prenatal Exposure to PM2.5 and Infant Birth Outcomes: Evidence from a Population-Wide Database By Jahanshahi, Babak; Johnston, Brian; McVicar, Duncan; McGovern, Mark E.; O’Reilly, Dermot; Rowland, Neil; Vlachos, Stavros
  2. The Impact of Climate Change on Mortality in the United States: Benefits and Costs of Adaptation By Deschenes, Olivier

  1. By: Jahanshahi, Babak (Queen's University Belfast); Johnston, Brian (Ordnance Survey); McVicar, Duncan (Queen's University Belfast); McGovern, Mark E. (Rutgers University); O’Reilly, Dermot (Queen's University Belfast); Rowland, Neil (Queen's University Belfast); Vlachos, Stavros (Queen's University Belfast)
    Abstract: There are growing concerns about the impact of pollution on maternal and infant health. In the UK in 2018, 36% of local authorities had levels of PM2.5 where exposure exceeded the annual level recommended by the World Health Organisation at the time. Using a population database of births in Northern Ireland linked to localised geographic information on pollution in mothers’ postcodes (zip codes) of residence during pregnancy, we examine whether prenatal exposure to PM2.5 is associated with a comprehensive range of birth outcomes. Overall, we find little evidence that particulate matter is related to worse infant outcomes once we implement a fixed effects approach that accounts for time-invariant factors common to mothers. While reducing pollution remains an urgent public health priority, our results imply that improvements in short-run levels of prenatal PM2.5 exposure are unlikely to be sufficient by themselves to reduce disparities in birth outcomes.
    Keywords: sibling fixed-effects, infant outcomes, PM2.5, pollution, birth weight
    JEL: I10 J10 Q53
    Date: 2022–07
  2. By: Deschenes, Olivier (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: This paper reviews and extends the recent empirical literature on the impact of climate change on mortality and adaptation in the United States. The analysis produces several new facts. First, the reductions in the impact of extreme heat on mortality risk previously documented up to 2004 have continued up to 2019, consistent with continued investments in health-protecting adaptations to high temperatures. The second part of the paper examines the private and external costs of electricity generation and consumption related to high temperatures, a commonly-used proxy for measuring the consumption of adaptation services. Extreme temperatures increase electricity demand in the residential sector (relative to moderate temperatures), but not in the commercial, industrial, and transportation end-use sectors. The additional electricity demand in response to high temperatures results in significant external costs due to the release of local and global pollutants caused by the combustion of fossil fuels in order to produce electricity. These external costs, documented for the first time in this paper, are one order of magnitude larger than the private cost of adaptation associated with electricity consumption.
    Keywords: climate change, extreme temperature, mortality, adaptation, air pollution
    JEL: I1 Q4 Q5 Q54
    Date: 2022–07

This nep-res issue is ©2022 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.