The child health impacts of coal: Evidence from India's coal expansion

Sangita Vyas, University of Texas at Austin

What are the health and human capital consequences of the developing world’s coal power expansion? Using variation in coal plant capacity within place across cohorts in India, a large coal consumer, I find that children born exposed to a median-sized coal plant are 0.1 standard deviations shorter than unexposed children. Supporting air pollution as a channel, effects are larger among children living closer to coal plants. Changes in coal capacity do not predict changes in other local socio-economic factors, demographics, employment, or infrastructure. Effects are similar by socioeconomic status, but richer households live closer to coal plants.

Keywords: Environmental studies, Health and morbidity

See paper.

  Presented in Session 115. Economic Policy and Health Outcomes