Australian Health & Human Capital Economics Seminar| A thousand cuts: Cumulative lead exposure and academic achievement by Alex Hollingsworth
Welcome back to the Virtual Australian Health & Human Capital Economics Seminar Series, which goes into its second year. This event is organised by A/Professor Victoria Baranov (UMelb), Dr Sarah Walker (UNSW), Professor Stefanie Schurer (USyd), Dr Rebecca McKibbin (USyd), Professor Adeline Delavande (UTS), and Professor Brenda Gannon (UQ).
The seminar series is open to the public. Sign up HERE for mailing list.
A thousand cuts: Cumulative lead exposure and academic achievement
Zoom Link: https://utsmeet.zoom.us/j/88698137071
Abstract: We study how ambient lead exposure impacts learning in elementary school by leveraging a natural experiment where a large national automotive racing organization switched from leaded to unleaded fuel. We find increased levels and duration of exposure to lead negatively affect academic performance, shift the entire academic performance distribution, and negatively impact both younger and older children. The average treated student in our setting has an expected income reduction of $5,200 in present value terms. Avoiding said treatment has an effect size similar to improving teacher value added by one-fourth of a standard deviation, reducing class size by 5 students, or increasing school spending per pupil by $750. The marginal impacts of lead are larger in impoverished, non-white counties, and among students with greater duration of exposure, even after controlling for the total quantity of exposure.
For further information regarding this seminar and Virtual Australian Health & Human Capital Economics Seminar Series, please contact Professor Stefanie Schurer (firstname.lastname@example.org)