Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies
Air and Water Pollution, and
Infant Mortality in India
Greenstone, Michael, and Rema Hanna. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP11-034, September 2011.
Using the most comprehensive data file ever compiled on air pollution, water pollution,
environmental regulations, and infant mortality from a developing country, the paper examines
the effectiveness of India’s environmental regulations. The air pollution regulations were
effective at reducing ambient concentrations of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen
dioxide. The most successful air pollution regulation is associated with a modest and statistically
insignificant decline in infant mortality. However, the water pollution regulations had no
observable effect. Overall, these results contradict the conventional wisdom that environmental
quality is a deterministic function of income and underscore the role of institutions and politics.