The Health Impact Of Coal Mining: A Regression Analysis

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Henning Tovar (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
John Whitehead

Abstract: Coal mining has a well-established detrimental effect on the health of coal miners who work in the mines or in direct vicinity to the coal mines. However, it is less clear how mining affects the communities living around the mining area. Recent research has pointed towards increased mortality rates in coal mining areas, but the statistical analyses used to produce this association are flawed. In my research I point out the methodological problems with prior research and argue for the use of hierarchical linear regression instead. My analysis investigates the relationship between county level mortality rates and coal mining across the entire United States. The multilevel regression model incorporates the effect of time over 8 years and includes county level data for all counties over the time span. Further, the model accounts for control variables used in the literature including economic factors and demographics, county level health indicators, and educational data. Holding all other factors constant, I find that mining does not statistically significantly affect mortality rates for the entirety of the United States. However, at the state level the effect of coal mining varies considerably, indicating different effects for coal mining states.

Additional Information

Tovar, H. (2020). The Health Impact Of Coal Mining: A Regression Analysis. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
Coal Mining, Mortality, Hierarchical Regression, Multilevel Regression, Public Health

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