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Abstract

Cost-benefit analyses of health and safety regulations require estimates of the benefits of reducing pollution, and hence the risks of pollution-caused illnesses. Lost work income constitutes an important component of monetized benefits. This paper examines the impact of married men and women’s health conditions potentially caused or exacerbated by environmental exposures on their labor force participation, hours of work, and weekly earnings. I focus on cancer, stroke, ischemic heart disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. The analysis is based on data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for U.S. households from 1996 to 2002.

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