Coal power plant emission exposure and its effect on education access
- 156 Downloads
We investigate the effects of exposure to coal power plant emissions on school absenteeism for children with asthma, a leading cause of health-related barriers to education.
Subject and methods
We combine responses from the 2007–2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey with coal power plant emission data to estimate a zero negative binomial regression model of school absences and investigate misspecification bias associated with naive assumptions about emission dispersion and self-selection into treatment groups.
The results show a robust, positive relationship (P < 0.001) between increases in emission exposure and the likelihood of a school absence due to an asthma episode. Exposure to higher emission volumes is associated with a 1.92–4.81 % higher likelihood of missing an additional school day. Furthermore, assuming uniform emission dispersion and not controlling for self-selection underestimates the effects by 2.72–4.27 times.
Access to education and the ability to develop human capital through schooling are affected for children with respiratory illnesses who are exposed to emissions. Public policies for emission regulation are likely to remain relevant for lowering pediatric respiratory health risks and lowering barriers to educational opportunities.
KeywordsAsthma call back survey Pediatric asthma Power plant emissions School attendance Spatial identification
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Acemoglu D, Angrist J (2001) How large are human-capital externalities? Evidence from compulsory schooling laws. NBER Macroecon Annu 15:9–59Google Scholar
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (2013) Asthma statistics. www.aaaai.org/about-the-aaaai/newsroom/asthma-statistics.aspx. Accessed 15 Mar 2013
- Burke M, Sass T (2008) Classroom peer effects and student achievement. FRB of Boston Working Paper No. 08–5Google Scholar
- Davis L (2010) The effect of power plants on local housing values and rents: evidence from restricted census microdata. Technical Report. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy ResearchGoogle Scholar
- Hunter C (2002) A recommended Pasquill-Gifford stability classification method for safety basis atmospheric dispersion modeling at srs. Savannah River National Laboratory, Report SRNL-STI2012-00055Google Scholar
- Joe S, Joe E, Rowley L (2009) Consequences of physical health and mental illness risks for academic achievement in grades K-12. Rev Res Educ 33:283–309Google Scholar
- Levy J, Spengler J, Hlinka D, Sullivan D (2000) Estimated public health impacts of criteria pollutant air emissions from nine fossil-fueled power plants in Illinois. Harvard School of Public Health Paper, BostonGoogle Scholar
- Natural Resources Defense Council (2013) Asthma and air pollution. http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/fasthma.asp. Accessed 15 Mar 2013
- Pace Energy and Climate Center (2000) Powerscorecard Electricity from: Coal. http://www.powerscorecard.org/tech_detail.cfm?resource_id=2. Accessed 15 Mar 2013
- Pasquill F (1961) The estimation of dispersion of windborne material. Meteorol Mag 90:33–49Google Scholar
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2011) Models for advancing asthma care: asthma burden. http://www.pediatricasthma.org/about/asthma_burden. Accessed 15 Mar 2013
- Singh K (2007) Quantitative Social Research Methods. New Delhi: Sage Publications India Pvt LtdGoogle Scholar
- Wang L, Zhong Y, Wheeler L (2005) Direct and indirect costs of asthma in school-age children. Prev Chron Dis 2:1–10Google Scholar