The consequences of industrialization: Evidence from water pollution and digestive cancers in China

Avraham Ebenstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

288 Scopus citations

Abstract

China's rapid industrialization has led to a severe deterioration in water quality in the country's lakes and rivers. By exploiting variation in pollution across China's river basins, I estimate that a deterioration of water quality by a single grade (on a six-grade scale) increases the digestive cancer death rate by 9.7%. The analysis rules out other potential explanations such as smoking rates, dietary patterns, and air pollution. I estimate that doubling China's levy rates forwastewater dumpingwould save roughly 17,000 lives per year but require an additional $500 million in annual spending on wastewater treatment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)186-201
Number of pages16
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

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