Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 1181–1207 | Cite as

Air quality and infant mortality in Mexico: evidence from variation in pollution concentrations caused by the usage of small-scale power plants

  • Emilio GutierrezEmail author
Original Paper


This paper exploits the sharp change in air pollutants induced by the installation of small-scale power plants throughout Mexico to measure the causal relationship between air pollution and infant mortality, and whether this relationship varies by municipality’s socio-economic conditions. The estimated elasticity for changes in infant mortality due to respiratory diseases with respect to changes in air pollution concentration ranges from 0.58 to 0.84 (more than ten times higher than the Ordinary Least Squares estimate). Weaker evidence suggests that the effect is significantly lower in municipalities with a high presence of primary healthcare facilities and larger in municipalities with a high fraction of households with low education levels.


Air pollution Health economics Infant health Infant mortality 

JEL Classification

H4 I1 O2 Q53 



Three anonymous referees and the editor, Erdal Tekin, provided valuable comments that considerably improved this paper. Ricardo González Chagín provided extraordinary research assistance. The author is grateful for support from the Asociación Mexicana de Cultura.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, CIEITAMMexico CityMexico

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