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Document Abstract
Published: 1 Oct 2013

The effects of air pollution on educational outcomes: Evidence from Chile

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The purpose of this study was to analyse the possible contemporary effects of air pollutants on standardized test scores in Chile. Previous studies have indicated that air pollution also generates problems on children cognitive performance and on children capital formation. Higher concentration of pollutants can affect the children’s learning process by exacerbating respiratory illnesses, fatigue, absenteeism and attention problems. The researchers examined results for 3,880 schools in the Metropolitan, Valparaiso and O’Higgins regions for children in fourth, eight and tenth grades between 1997 and 2012. Results suggest that higher PM10 (particulate matter) and O3 (ozone) annual levels are clearly associated to worse burdens in test scores. The authors argue that efforts to reduce pollution below this norm in these most polluted municipalities would account for improvements in reading and maths test scores.

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M.A. Vela BarĂ³n; S. Miller

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