The Impact of Indoor Air Pollution on the Incidence of Life Threatening Respiratory Illnesses: Evidence from Young Children in Peru

Gissele Gajate Garrido, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Indoor air pollution is the 10th most important risk factor in terms of its global burden of disease. This paper analyzes the impact of indoor air pollution on child health and the validity of various mitigation strategies using a panel of Peruvian children younger than 6 years old. This study improves on previous work by (i) controlling for unobserved household/child heterogeneity, (ii) providing a set of controls defined in the literature as important confounding variables and (iii) analyzing the impact of indoor air pollution by gender. I find a negative, statistically significant and considerable impact of indoor air pollution on child respiratory health. This impact is stronger and only significant for boys. To discard a spurious correlation I show diarrhea, a priori not related to pollution, is not affected by cooking fuel choice and that a change in cooking fuel is not associated with the relocation of a household.

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Presented in Session 154: Environmental Influences on Child Health