Please note: The venue for the talk is Conference Hall, First Floor, Central Board for Irrigation and Power (CBIP), Malcha Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi - 110021.
About the Talk:
The Nitrogen Legacy: Long-Term Effects of Water Pollution on Human Capital
The five-fold rise in the use of nitrogenous fertilizers since the mid-1960s resulted in profound changes to the nitrogen cycle and exacted a toll on India’s waters— runoff of excess nitrogen from fields increased concentrations of nitrate and nitrite in the rivers to harmful levels. Despite ecological evidence of too much nitrogen on the environment, much less is known about its toll on humans. In this paper, we provide new evidence of the legacy effects of nitrogen pollution and contribute to a growing literature on the persistent effects of early-life exposure on later life health outcomes. We compile a rich dataset of water quality along 145 rivers between the years 1970-2016 and exploit the direction of river flow and the upstream-downstream geographic relationship, coupled with cohort variation in exposure to estimate a pollution-health dose-response function. Preliminary findings show that women exposed to nitrate-nitrite pollution in their earliest years of life are shorter on average and more likely to experience a stillbirth in adulthood than women of similar circumstances who were not exposed to such pollution. Early-life exposure to nitrate-nitrite pollution also lowers later-life labor productivity and depresses adult wages decreasing overall welfare.
About the Speaker:
Esha Zaveri is an economist at the World Bank's Water Global Practice in Washington DC. Before joining the World Bank, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University's Department of Earth System Science and the Center on Food Security and the Environment. She works on issues related to water resource management, sustainable agriculture, rural climate impacts, health, and migration.
Poster for the talk can be accessed here
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