Traffic congestion and infant health: Evidence from E-Zpass

Janet Currie, Reed Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

319 Scopus citations


We exploit the introduction of electronic toll collection, (E-ZPass), which greatly reduced both traffic congestion and vehicle emissions near highway toll plazas. We show that the introduction of E-ZPass reduced prematurity and low birth weight among mothers within 2 kilometers (km) of a toll plaza by 10.8 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively, relative to mothers 2-10 km from a toll plaza. There were no immediate changes in the characteristics of mothers or in housing prices near toll plazas that could explain these changes. The results are robust to many changes in specification and suggest that traffic congestion contributes significantly to poor health among infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-90
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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