Air Pollution and Infant Mortality: Evidence from the Expansion of Natural Gas Infrastructure


  • We thank two anonymous referees, Laura Arygs, Şaduman Cesur, Ala Çubukçu, Francesc Ortega, Stephen Ross, Burcu Ellidört Tunç and the participants at the 2013 Health Economics Spring Meeting of the National Bureau of Economic Research, George Mason University, Queens College of the City University of New York, University of Connecticut, Johns Hopkins University, IZA Workshop on Labor Market Effects of Environmental Policies, the 2012 Southern Economic Association Meeting and the 2013 European Society for Population Economics Conference for their comments and suggestions. Chandler McClellan provided excellent research assistance.


We examine the impact of widespread adoption of natural gas as a source of fuel on infant mortality in Turkey, using variation across provinces and over time in the intensity of natural gas utilisation. Our estimates indicate that the expansion of natural gas infrastructure has resulted in a significant decrease in the rate of infant mortality. Specifically, a one-percentage point increase in natural gas intensity – measured by the rate of subscriptions to natural gas services – would cause the infant mortality rate to decrease by 4%, which would translate into approximately 348 infant lives saved in 2011 alone.