Air quality and early-life mortality: Evidence from Indonesia's wildfires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Smoke from massive wildfires blanketed Indonesia in late 1997. This paper examines the impact that this air pollution (particulate matter) had on fetal, infant, and child mortality. Exploiting the sharp timing and spatial patterns of the pollution and inferring deaths from "missing children" in the 2000 Indonesian Census, I find that the pollution led to 15,600 missing children in Indonesia (1.2 percent of the affected birth cohorts). Prenatal exposure to pollution drives the result. The effect size is much larger in poorer areas, suggesting that differential effects of pollution contribute to the socioeconomic gradient in health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-954
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Air quality and early-life mortality: Evidence from Indonesia's wildfires'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this