587/2021 Nanna Fukushima
This paper estimates the effects of the 1956 UK Clean Air Act on infant mortality. Using novel data, I exploit the seasonality in demand for coal to analyse the effects of a staggered expansion of a ban on local smoke emission. The findings show that the policy eliminated the seasonal difference in air quality as well as infant mortality. According to my instrumental variables estimates, the reduction in air pollution between 1957 and 1973 can account for 70 % of the observed decline in infant mortality during the same period. The results are relevant to explain the fast decline in post-war infant mortality in developed countries and understand the effect of pollution on infant mortality in many developing countries.