Many studies have shown an association between environmental exposures and certain health conditions. A responsibility of many government agencies is to protect the health of the citizens from environmental pollutants, through the implementation of specific regulations. Estimates of the labor market impacts of these diseases constitute an important component of benefit estimation, for regulatory impact analyses of health and safety regulations. The main goal of this study is to show how specific adults’ and children’s health conditions potentially linked to environmental pollution exposure affect the labor market decisions of households in the United States. This study considers first, the direct effect of a married woman or married man’s health on their own labor market outcomes; second, the influence of a spouse’s health conditions on the other spouse’s labor market decisions; and third, the impact of a child’s chronic health condition on parents’ labor market outcomes. The findings of this study are of importance in informing national health policies, and more generally, in designing social programs.
Marcella Veronesi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at University of Verona, and a Research Fellow in the Institute of Environmental Decisions at ETH Zurich. She is an applied microeconomist, and she earned a PhD from University of Maryland.