Hypoteste: Blyfri bensin og blyfri maling gir lavere kriminalitet og mindre aggressive skolebarn. Ny NBER-artikkel fra økonom Jessica Wolpaw Reyes.
Over the past 50 years, after scientists realized that even minute doses of lead can have harmful effects, policymakers have been steadily pushing to eradicate the stuff from the environment. In the United States, no one uses lead-based paint or fills up their cars with leaded gasoline anymore—those were phased out back in the 1970s and 1980s. Lead levels in the air have dropped 92 percent since then.
The paper finds that elevated levels of blood lead in early childhood adversely impact standardized test performance, even when controlling for community and school characteristics. The results imply that public health policy that reduced childhood lead levels in the 1990s was responsible for modest but statistically significant improvements in test performance in the 2000s, lowering the share of children scoring unsatisfactory on standardized tests by 1 to 2 percentage points.
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