Title: Lead and Student Outcomes: Exploiting Within-School Variation in Lead Exposure
Presenter: Michelle Spiegel
Poster Advisor: Greg Duncan
Research Specialization: Educational Policy and Social Context
Testing for lead in school drinking fountains is not required in 41 states, yet the majority of piping transporting water to schools contains lead, which can seep into the water. Lead exposure in children is linked to adverse outcomes. Existing research focuses on lead exposure in home environments and relies on observational data that confounds lead with other considerations. Using linked administrative and fixture-level lead data, the current study explores the prevalence of kindergartener’s lead exposure in a Pacific Northwestern city. Additionally, it uses a school fixed effect model, exploiting within school variation in exposure, to identify the impact of lead in classroom water fountains on concurrent outcomes. I find no statistically detectable impacts. Future work will employ alternative identification strategies that aim to decrease the measurement error and improve study power.