A Watershed Moment: The Clean Water Act and Infant Health

Friday, September 24, 2021 1:00pm to 2:00pm

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Please join us for a presentation by Dr. Michelle Marcus, visiting from Vanderbilt's Dept of Economics, as she discusses the findings from her recent publication, "A Watershed Moment: The Clean Water Act and Infant Health." The Clean Water Act (CWA) significantly improved surface water quality, but at a cost exceeding the estimated benefits.

Her team quantify the effect of the CWA on a direct measure of health and incorporate health benefits into a cost-benefit analysis. Using a difference-in-differences framework, they compare health upstream and downstream from wastewater treatment facilities before and after CWA grant receipt. Pollution only decreased downstream from facilities required to upgrade their treatment technology, and they leverage this additional variation with a triple difference. CWA grants increased average birth weight by 8 grams. A back-of-the-envelope calculation bounds infant health benefits below $29 billion.

Please register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

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  • RONALD WOOD

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