Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 1–20 | Cite as

Evidence from the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: The Effect on Health, Education, and Labor Market Outcomes in Belarus

  • Maksim Yemelyanau
  • Aliaksandr AmialchukEmail author
  • Mir M. Ali


The Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986 had deleterious health consequences for the population of Belarus, especially for those who were children at the time of the disaster. Using the 2003–2008 waves of the Belarusian Household Survey of Income and Expenditure (BHSIE), we estimate the effect of radiation exposure on the health, education, and labor market outcomes among cohorts and areas affected by the accident, utilizing the nuclear accident as a natural experiment. We find that young individuals who came from the most contaminated areas had worse health, were less likely to hold university degrees, were less likely to be employed, and had lower wages compared to those who were older at the time of the accident and who came from less contaminated areas.


Chernobyl Belarus Health Education Wage Employment 


I18 I20 Q53 J24 



The authors would like to thank Štěpán Jurajda, Randall K. Filer, Mykhaylo Salnykov, Kateryna Bornukova, Lauren Heller, Christopher Jepsen and the participants of the seminar at BEROC for their valuable comments. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Food & Drug Administration.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maksim Yemelyanau
    • 1
  • Aliaksandr Amialchuk
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mir M. Ali
    • 3
  1. 1.CERGE-EIPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ToledoToledoUSA
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Toledo & Office of Regulations, Policy and Social Science, Food & Drug AdministrationCollege ParkUSA

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