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Featured TXRDC Researcher: CES Dissertation Mentorship Program Participant, Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at Texas A&M University, TXRDC researcher, and participant in the Center for Economic Studies Dissertation Mentorship Program. On his mentorship experience, Adam says:

“My CES mentor,  Dr. Jonathan Eggleston, is quick to answer questions and always gives useful feedback. His assistance has definitely improved my ability to use Census microdata to its full potential.”

Adam’s study, titled “What’s in the Water? Long-Run Effects of Fluoridation on Health and Economic Self-Sufficiency,” relies on linked individual-level Census and vital records data available only in the RDC environment. A research synopsis is included below:

Community water fluoridation has been named one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century for its role in improving dental health. I leverage county level variation in the timing of fluoride adoption, combined with restricted U.S. Census data that link over 29 million individuals to their county of birth, to estimate the causal effects of childhood fluoride exposure. Children exposed to community water fluoridation from age zero to five are worse off as adults on indices of economic self-sufficiency (-1.9\% of a SD) and physical ability and health (-1.2\% of a SD). They are also significantly less likely to graduate high school or serve in the military and are more likely to be incarcerated as adults. These findings overturn existing conclusions about safe levels of fluoride exposure and its impact on adult labor market outcomes.

To read the full study, click here.