Effects of Early Childhood Exposure to Ambient Lead and Particulate Matter on Adult Personality
This working paper assesses how early-life exposure to air pollution affects adult personality using annual lead vehicle emissions by county and "Big Five" personality data.
To assess how early-life exposure to air pollution affects adult personality, we use new annual lead (Pb) vehicle emissions data by county, for 1969 to 1981, and “Big Five” personality data for 130,000 adults. Models with county and cohort fixed effects show higher Pb exposure during the first five years of life lowers agreeableness and increases openness. Weaker evidence suggests Pb lowers conscientiousness and increases neuroticism but it has no effect on extraversion. We also assess how regulation-induced cuts in total suspended particulates (TSP) levels affect adult personality. We are unable to disentangle early life effects of Pb and TSP.
Arthur G. Fraas
Arthur Fraas is a visiting fellow at Resources for the Future. At RFF, Fraas works on a variety of issues related to energy and the environment, including projects looking at issues and tradeoffs with energy efficiency regulations, and more.
Natural Resources Canada
Samuel D. Gosling
University of Texas at Austin
Report — Nov 16, 2023
Tracking and Evaluation of Research, Development, and Demonstration Programs at the US Department of Energy
This report builds on a May 2023 RFF workshop that sourced experiences with and proposed best practices for developing the US Department of Energy's research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) capacity.
Resources Radio — Nov 14, 2023
Not a Shore Thing: Challenges in US Offshore Wind Development, with Ben Storrow
Ben Storrow discusses the challenges for offshore wind project development in recent years, how policymakers can address these challenges, and the future of the offshore wind industry.
Media Highlight — Nov 10, 2023
E&E News: “White House Overhaul Paves Way for Stricter Regulations”
RFF President and CEO Richard G. Newell comments on the White House's revised method for agencies to weigh regulatory costs and benefits.