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Hassles and environmental health screenings: Evidence from lead tests in Illinois

Hassles and environmental health screenings: Evidence from lead tests in Illinois

509/2020 Ludovica Gazze
working papers,public policy

509/2020 Ludovica Gazze

I study the determinants of childhood lead screening using all Illinois birth records (2001- 2014), matched to lead testing records and geocoded housing age data. Housing age measures lead risk, as older houses disproportionally have lead paint. Changes in providers’ availability, inferred from testing data, provide variation in non-monetary costs of testing. Travel costs reduce screening among low- and high-risk households alike. Thus, self-selection based on travel costs does not appear to improve targeting, even though high-risk households are willing to pay $29-389 more than low-risk households for screening. Screening incentives would be cost-effective for reasonable values of lead poisoning externalities.

Public Policy