NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Ruba Ajeeb

American University of Beirut
Beirut
Lebanon

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: American University of Beirut

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2020The Effect of Open-Air Waste Burning on Infant Health: Evidence from Government Failure in Lebanon
with Pierre Mouganie, Mark Hoekstra: w26835
An estimated 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned in open-air fires, which are responsible for as much as half of the global emissions of some pollutants. However, there is little evidence on the health consequences of open-air waste burning. In this paper, we estimate the effect of in utero exposure to open-air waste burning on birth outcomes. We do so by examining the consequences of the Lebanese garbage crisis of 2015, which led to an abrupt, unanticipated increase in waste burning in residential neighborhoods in Beirut and Mount Lebanon. To identify effects, we exploit variation in exposure across neighborhoods before and after the crisis. Results indicate exposure had large impacts on birth outcomes; in utero exposure to at least one open-air waste burn increased premature ...
 
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