Burying the Lead: Effects of Public Lead Service Line Replacements on Blood Lead Levels and Property Values

Michelle Marcus (University of Vanderbilt)

25 septembre 2023, 11h00–12h15


Salle Auditorium 4

Environmental Economics Seminar


Despite the well-known health consequences of lead exposure, an estimated 6 to 10 million lead service lines still deliver drinking water to homes throughout the US. Disadvantaged communities are disproportionately exposed to lead service lines, contributing to health and human capital disparities. This paper studies the effects of public lead service line replacements on households using address-level data on children's blood lead levels, home sales, and public service line installations from Rhode Island. Replacements significantly reduced child blood lead levels by about 0.4 ug/dL, increased property values by 7-8 percent, and increased the probability of moving among renters.