Above: We plot the estimated impact of an additional month of wildfire-smoke exposure in early life on the likelihood of dying by age 55 (deaths per 1,000).

Part of FSRDC Project UT-02272

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This paper assesses the impact of in utero and early childhood wildfire exposure on lifelong outcomes, including longevity, disability, human capital accumulation, and economic achievement in mid-to-late adulthood. To do so, we link pollution exposure from mid-20th century California wildfires to four decades of birth cohorts (born 1930-1969). These cohorts are in turn linked to administrative birth and death records from the Social Security Administration and restricted Decennial Census and American Community Survey data to evaluate their long-term outcomes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to causally assess both the long-run effects of wildfire exposure as well as the effects of air pollution over the entire lifespan when the exposure occurs in utero or during the first years of life.

Disclaimer: Any views expressed are those of the authors and not those of the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau's Disclosure Review Board and Disclosure Avoidance Officers have reviewed this information product for unauthorized disclosure of confidential information and have approved the disclosure avoidance practices applied to this release. This research was performed at a Federal Statistical Research Data Center under FSRDC Project Number 2603. (CBDRB-FY21-P2272-R9133)