This exercise examines methods of summarizing the relationship between two variables: a simple
graphical analysis, the bivariate linear regression model. The application is to the relationship
between infant mortality rates (IMRs) and total suspended particulates (TSPs) air pollution. The
Environmental Protection Agency recently toughened the regulations that limit rms abil-ity to
emit TSPs, because of the presumed health eects of TSPs. Whether or not, IMRs and TSPs are
causally related is an issue of tremendous importance to public policy.
Feel free to work cooperatively but each person is required to turn in their own problem set that
provides the solutions in their own words.
For those of you who become interested in this topic, you might be interested in:
Chay, Kenneth Y. and Michael Greenstone. 2005. Does Air Quality Matter?: Evidence from the
Housing Market. Journal of Political Economy, 113(2): 376-424.
Chay, Kenneth Y. and Michael Greenstone. 2003. Air Quality, Infant Mortality, and the Clean
Air Act of 1970. MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 04-08.
Data Source: imrtsp71.dta and imrtsp72.dta
imrtsp71.dta is a data le from 1971. The unit of observation is the county and there are 715
observations of 21 variables.
This Stata format data le contains county-level information on county-level number of infant
mortalities per 1000 births (IMR), the ln of this same number, TSPs concentrations, number of
births, characteristics of new parents (e.g. race of mother, years of education, marital status of
mother, mothers age), whether the infant is considered to have a low-birth weight (a poor
indicator of infant health), month of the pregnancy that the mother initiated prenatal care, and
mean per-capita income.
The relevant variables with descriptions in quotations are:
imr71 \# inf deaths per 1000 births 71″
lnimr71 \ln(# inf death per 1000 births 71)”
mtspar71 \county-level tsps concentration, measured in micrograms per cubic meter 71″
tsp sq \the square of mtspar71″
birth71\# births 71″
white71 \% births, white mom 71″
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