Do low levels of blood lead reduce children's future test scores?

Anna Aizer, Janet Marion Currie, Peter Simon, Patrick Vivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We construct a unique individual-level dataset linking preschool blood lead levels with third grade test scores for Rhode Island children born 1997-2005. Using two identification strategies, we show for the first time that reductions of lead from even historically low levels have significant positive effects. A one-unit decrease in average blood lead levels reduces the probability of being substantially below proficient in reading (math) by 0.96 (0.79) percentage points on a baseline of 12 (16) percent. Since disadvantaged children have greater exposure to lead, lead poisoning may be one of the causes of continuing disparities in test scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-341
Number of pages35
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Test scores

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

Aizer, Anna ; Currie, Janet Marion ; Simon, Peter ; Vivier, Patrick. / Do low levels of blood lead reduce children's future test scores?. In: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 2018 ; Vol. 10, No. 1. pp. 307-341.
@article{e14a88a53df340ea9ccc326acafac40c,
title = "Do low levels of blood lead reduce children's future test scores?",
abstract = "We construct a unique individual-level dataset linking preschool blood lead levels with third grade test scores for Rhode Island children born 1997-2005. Using two identification strategies, we show for the first time that reductions of lead from even historically low levels have significant positive effects. A one-unit decrease in average blood lead levels reduces the probability of being substantially below proficient in reading (math) by 0.96 (0.79) percentage points on a baseline of 12 (16) percent. Since disadvantaged children have greater exposure to lead, lead poisoning may be one of the causes of continuing disparities in test scores.",
author = "Anna Aizer and Currie, {Janet Marion} and Peter Simon and Patrick Vivier",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "https://doi.org/10.1257/app.20160404",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "10",
pages = "307--341",
journal = "American Economic Journal: Applied Economics",
issn = "1945-7782",
publisher = "American Economic Association",
number = "1",

}

Do low levels of blood lead reduce children's future test scores? / Aizer, Anna; Currie, Janet Marion; Simon, Peter; Vivier, Patrick.

In: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 10, No. 1, 01.01.2018, p. 307-341.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Do low levels of blood lead reduce children's future test scores?

AU - Aizer, Anna

AU - Currie, Janet Marion

AU - Simon, Peter

AU - Vivier, Patrick

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - We construct a unique individual-level dataset linking preschool blood lead levels with third grade test scores for Rhode Island children born 1997-2005. Using two identification strategies, we show for the first time that reductions of lead from even historically low levels have significant positive effects. A one-unit decrease in average blood lead levels reduces the probability of being substantially below proficient in reading (math) by 0.96 (0.79) percentage points on a baseline of 12 (16) percent. Since disadvantaged children have greater exposure to lead, lead poisoning may be one of the causes of continuing disparities in test scores.

AB - We construct a unique individual-level dataset linking preschool blood lead levels with third grade test scores for Rhode Island children born 1997-2005. Using two identification strategies, we show for the first time that reductions of lead from even historically low levels have significant positive effects. A one-unit decrease in average blood lead levels reduces the probability of being substantially below proficient in reading (math) by 0.96 (0.79) percentage points on a baseline of 12 (16) percent. Since disadvantaged children have greater exposure to lead, lead poisoning may be one of the causes of continuing disparities in test scores.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041061009&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85041061009&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - https://doi.org/10.1257/app.20160404

DO - https://doi.org/10.1257/app.20160404

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 307

EP - 341

JO - American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

JF - American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

SN - 1945-7782

IS - 1

ER -